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Ekpo commissions 5.2m CNG Plant

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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) Rt. Hon. EkperikpeEkpo has commissioned a 5.2m Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) plant in Lagos.

Speaking, Ekpo said the occasion, under the theme “From Gas to Prosperity: CNG for All”, represents a critical turning point in the development of affordable, sustainable, and secure energy sources in the country.

The Minister described 2024 as a historic year for Nigerians, stressing that through his courageous decision to eliminate fuel subsidies and promote the acceptability and broader use of LPG, President Bola Tinubu has brought about several fresh beginnings in the lives of Nigerians.

“Although the elimination of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy has brought difficulties, it has also given us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to invent and adopt more economical, efficient, and sustainable energy alternatives,” the Minister stated.

Ekpo noted that the use of CNG as a transport fuel is a mature technology used globally as it is the cleanest burning fuel in terms of Nitro-oxide and soot emissions. While it can be employed to power passenger cars and city buses, CNG passenger vehicles emit 5-10% less CO2 than comparable gasoline powered passenger vehicles, the Minister added.

Ekpo said more of the stations will be replicated across commercial centres in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The project is a partnership between the NNPC Gas Marketing and Transit Gas Nigeria Limited (TGNL) and Ekpo thanked the two companies for supporting the objective of utilizing the country’s abundant natural gas resources to accelerate economic development and growth.

According to him, what the two firms did was in line with the President Bola Tinubu’s “From Gas to Prosperity: Renewed Hope” programme.

The Minister informed the gathering that the Federal Government will continue to innovate and invest in requisite infrastructure that will allow Nigerians to get full benefit of its gas resource.

“As the Nation continues to take giant strides in the adoption of CNG as a sustainable alternative to PMS and AGO, we are resolute to bring the benefits of CNG adoption closer to the Nigerian people, and projects like this are major milestones in achieving this objective,” said Ekpo.

“By harnessing the potential of our natural gas resources, we are not only driving economic growth but also paving the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future for all Nigerians,” he added.

Ekpo who described CNG as a cheaper, cleaner, more eco-friendly, and safer source of fuel than traditional liquid fuels, noted that its usage will enhance the nation’s efforts to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) obligations to the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide SanyaOlu, in his speech at the event described the CNG project as an important and strategic investment by the NNPC.

The governor said CNG powered vehicles offered cleaner and cheaper source of fuel, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the removal of subsidy on PMS.

He announced that the Lagos State government would be purchasing over 2,000 brand new CNG buses to refleet its public transport system, while converting no fewer than 2,500 vehicles to run on the gas.

Group Chief executive officer (GCEO) of NNPCL, Malam Mele Kyari said the CNG project would bring succor to motorists all over the country.

He said investment in the project was an obligation for NNPCL in line with  provisions in the PIA which demanded the  promotion and  utilisation of gas and the creation of economic prosperity to Nigerians.

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Energy

TCN restores power supply to Lugbe, Galadimawa, other parts of Abuja

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, has announced that it has restored bulk power supply to its 60 megavolt-amperes transformer at Kukwaba 132/33-kilovolt transmission submission 24 hours after the facility was faulty.

Ndidi Mbah, the General Manager of Public Affairs of TCN disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

The firm said the power supply was restored to the substation around 5:51 pm on Thursday.

Consequently, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company can now offtake bulk power for distribution to its customers in Galadimawa, Games Village, National Stadium, Sunny Vale, Kabusa Gardens, TSF Eye Clinic, AMMSCO Estate, Sun City, parts of Kabusa, Same Global, Durumi, American International School, Sabo Lugbe, TradeMore Estate, Pyakasa, Aleita/Chika and Ako Estate.

“TCN hereby announces the restoration of bulk power supply through its 60 MVA TRI transformer at Kukwaba 132/33kV Transmission Substation, on the 13th of June, 2024 at 5:51 pm.

“Recall that the transformer was opened on an emergency to trace and rectify the cause of sudden smoke from the transformer. This has since been rectified and the transformer restored to service,” TCN stated.

On Thursday power outage hit parts of Abuja over a faulty Kukwaba transmission substation.

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Energy

Marketers advocate ethanol as alternative fuel, plan $7bn yearly savings

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The Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria has stated that ethanol could be adopted as a biofuel to help Nigeria in reducing energy poverty and emissions.

According to MEMAN during a recent quarterly press webinar and engagement, about $7.4 billion could be saved annually by taking advantage of Nigeria’s ethanol resources as a biofuel to support petrol.

Ethanol is a biofuel that is commonly used as a substitute or additive to petrol in vehicles. It is typically produced through the fermentation of plant materials like cassava, corn, sugarcane, and others.

MEMAN noted that ethanol blended into biofuel as a transformative energy source has the potential to change Nigeria’s energy landscape and pave the way for a sustainable economy.

Experts, who spoke at the webinar, revealed that Nigeria had what it takes to exploit its ethanol to biofuel potential.

Presenting a paper titled ‘Ethanol as a Biofuel,’ a Senior Consultant with Africa Practice, Agwu Ojowu, pointed out that developing the ethanol industry could save the nation about $7.4bn ba year.

“Nigeria’s cassava production, standing at 63 million metric tonnes annually, represents 26 per cent of the global total. However, with 40 percent of this yield lost each year, there is a significant economic loss estimated at $7.4bn. Developing the ethanol industry could mitigate these losses, enhance economic stability, and capitalise on the depreciating currency to reduce costs,” Ojowu stated.

He emphasised that ethanol’s higher octane rating improves fuel quality and helps meet environmental standards by reducing sulphur content and greenhouse gas emissions.

Those attributes, he said, make ethanol a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to petrol, aligning with Nigeria’s climate commitments.

Going down memory lane, Ojowu recalled that Nigeria’s foray into ethanol began with the 2007 biofuels policy, which mandated a 10 percent ethanol blend in fuel.

“Despite initial challenges, including the suspension of the policy in 2008, because of blending inconsistencies, the potential of ethanol remains significant. Ethanol’s cost-effectiveness compared to petrol has historically led to economic arbitrage, suggesting that a well-regulated biofuel market could be economically advantageous,” he said.

Ojowu added that ethanol presents numerous benefits, including economic, environmental, and agricultural advantages, without necessitating vehicle modifications.

The Executive Secretary of MEMAN, Clement Isong, also emphasised the role of renewable energy in addressing Nigeria’s energy poverty.

He highlighted the importance of diverse energy sources, including biofuels, solar, hydroelectricity, and wind energy, to create a balanced and sustainable energy mix.

“MEMAN is committed to engaging with industry stakeholders to advocate for energy solutions that meet Nigeria’s needs,” Isong said.

He expressed optimism about the future of renewable energy in Nigeria and the continued efforts to enhance press engagement and industry collaboration.

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Energy

Abuja DisCo adds 45 new feeders to Band A

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The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, (AEDC) has disclosed it has added 45 new feeders to the Band A category of customers who would enjoy a minimum of 20 hours of electricity as stipulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

The new feeders are majorly in the Asokoro, Wuye, Garki, Suleja, Apo and other areas of the capital city. This was disclosed by the Disco on their official X (formerly Twitter) page where it described the feeder location and specific areas served by the feeder.

Other areas where feeders were upgraded to band A include; Suleja, Garki Area II, Wuse, Anyigba, Mpape, Jabi, Gwagwalada, Gwarimpa etc.

The DisCo noted that the upgrade to band A for the affected feeder location is effective from June 1, 2024.  Similar upgrades across other DisCos

In April, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) announced a more than 200 percent increase in electricity tariffs for Band A customers.

This move is part of efforts to eliminate electricity subsidies and implement a cost-reflective tariff system in the power sector.

Abuja Disco’s addition of new feeders to Band A is in line with similar actions by other distribution companies like Eko and Ikeja DisCos following the tariff hike.

Band A customers are on specific feeders that receive a minimum of 20 hours of electricity daily. According to NERC, these customers account for approximately 17 percent of all electricity users in the country.

The decision to raise electricity tariffs for Band A customers has sparked public outrage, particularly among trade and labour unions nationwide.

Organised labour members have protested the increase, while the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has advised its members not to pay the new tariff, claiming they were not consulted.

MAN has instructed its members to continue paying the old rate of N66/kWh. The various electricity distribution companies have vowed to disconnect customers who fail to pay the new tariff under their band.

The group has also filed a petition with NERC regarding the tariff hike, which is currently awaiting resolution.

Furthermore, the Organised Private Sector (OPS) comprising all chambers of commerce and trade associations across the country had warned that the new tariff could lead to the shutdown of 65 percent of businesses across the country.  The group stated that the over 200 percent hike in electricity tariff to N220/KWh then made Nigeria’s power cost the highest in the world. It warned that the hike could exacerbate the economic situation in the country and push more people into unemployment and poverty.

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