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Austrian firm, Powergas invest $25m to reduce gas flare in Nigeria

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By Sebastine Obasi

Nigeria’s quest to reduce gas flare has received a boost as ETEFA, an Austrian green technology company and Powergas, Nigeria’s biggest compressed natural gas, CNG distributor and pioneer in “virtual gas pipeline supply are set to invest about $25 million initially for refurbishment and conversion of city buses and trucks in Lagos and the Niger-Delta from diesel to gas.

Giving an insight into the partnership, the Chief Executive Officer, ETEFA GmbH, Mr Johann Rieger, said that if all of Nigeria’s gas flare is captured and processed, it can power up to 200,000 city buses (public transport) or 200,000 trucks (commercial transport), or even double Nigeria’s power generation capacity, while significantly improving the quality of the air (lower carbon and particulate emissions).

“Recovery and utilisation of flare gas will contribute positively to the Nigerian economy by bringing down fuel and energy costs, which will have a trickle-down effect on food prices, transportation costs and ultimately rein in inflation. The good news is that with the available gas reserves, it is still not too late! The introduction of gas-fired city buses for public transport would significantly lower ticket prices for passengers. This would especially have a positive impact on the lower income populace who spend up to 40 per cent of their monthly income on public transport.

“For this reason, the 18 months pilot project of the CEST Program which targets include improving environmental and health conditions by reduction of emissions, lowering the cost of public and commercial transportation while fostering local talent employment with technology transfer and strategic knowledge- sharing, will surely change the environmental landscape of Nigeria.”

He explained that natural gas flare is one of the biggest environmental disasters of Nigeria.

According to him, annually, over 7 billion Standard Cubic Meter, SCM of natural gas is being flared in Nigeria, leading to casualties of up to 2,500 individuals in the Niger- Delta region (due to gas flare-related pollution & emissions), contributing to 20 per cent of the entire Greenhouse Gases, GHGs of the country, causing a massive waste of energy and financial resources.

Gas flare monetisation projects, he said, can potentially save Nigeria over US$2.5 billion per year by reducing the cost of fuels in the transportation and power generation sector by over 30 per cent.

Also speaking, Managing Director, Powergas Nigeria, Mr Pulak Sen, said the company is commited to positively contributing to the clean environment of Nigeria.

He said: “As a company, Powergas is committed to providing an environment-friendly fuel source to spur economic growth and industrialisation in conjunction with reducing the carbon footprint.”

We believe that natural gas- fired power generation emits up to five times less nitrogen oxides than comparable diesel generation and near-zero particulate matter.

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