The Federal Government has procured about 1,000 conversion kits that will enable petrol-powered trucks and small vehicles to start running on autogas.

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It was also gathered that the conversion kits were being deployed across the country, as the government intensified steps to reduce the consumption of petrol and promote the use of gas in automobiles.

The Technical Assistant, Gas Business and Policy to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Justice Derefaka, said the government had explored solutions to address barriers to the deployment of its autogas scheme.

Derefaka doubles as the Programme Manager, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, as well as Programme Manager, Autogas, National Gas Expansion Programme.

He said, “As a way to address the barrier, we have about 1,000 conversion kits for trucks and smaller vehicles to be deployed nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“And we have 50 conversion centres currently upgrading for mass conversion and training. Auto assemblers are already producing fit-for-purpose dual-fuel vehicles in-country.”

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He added, “Now here is the thing, it will interest you to know that over 30,000 vehicles are already running on dual fuels in Nigeria. And there has never been any explosion. And the scheme will generate two million jobs per annum.”

Derefaka stated that the projection of government was that by 2021, 600 NNPC leased and affiliate fuel stations would co-locate by the second quarter of 2021.

He noted that about 1,000 conversion kits for trucks and smaller vehicles would be deployed and one million vehicles were expected to run on autogas, adding that an additional two million conversion kits were expected by the end of 2021.

Derefaka noted that to accelerate the switch to autogas, 9,000 filling stations will be set up for co-location of autogas nationwide.

“From the government side, 46 NNPC owned stations will be co-located by Q4 2020,” he stated.

He said autogas would lower transportation cost nationwide because of its low operating cost and longer life of prime movers.

The gas expert described autogas as cheap, available, affordable, accessible and an engine fuel that would serve as a clean-burning alternative and less expensive than gasoline or diesel in many countries.