By Ishola Balogun
President of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Dr Prince Billy Harry has said that the partnership with THLD Group and use of retail outlets of PETROAN as vehicle conversion (petrol to gas) centers was the push needed to boost the National Gas Expansion Program (NGEP)
Harry said the autogas initiative of the federal government came at the right time, especially in light of global crude oil fluctuations coupled with the deregulation of the local [petrol] market.
He added that the use of autogas will not only cushion the effect of downstream deregulation but also create new markets and enormous job opportunities for our people.
The PETROAN boss who spoke to newsmen in Abuja shortly after the signing ceremony, said while PETROAN provides the outlets, the THLD Group will be responsible for the training and technical infrastructure for the conversion centers.
“This project is huge, and it is the boldest anyone can come in with on the federal NGEP project. It is the easiest way the government can achieve the objectives of the NGEP. With this partnership with THLD Group, motorists can be sure of simply driving into any of our outlets and getting their vehicles’ conversions done with ease,” he said
He described the THLD Group as the reputed, largest organization in alternative fuel conversion in Africa.
“They are bringing along their world class expertise to this partnership. The conversion centers will be from among our using existing outlets nationwide. We shall empower the youths with knowledge and capacity. They will be trained to make the conversion to gas program seamless nationwide,” he said.
Dr Harry said what PETROAN is engaging with is a ‘revolution’ in the oil and gas sector, adding that with the agreement, people who are afraid of the change (conversion) will see how easy it will be to have the conversion centers and getting the service.
According to him, the country has been divided into zones, and there would be 20 conversion centers per zone. Vehicle owners can drive into any center of choice and get their vehicles converted
While announcing the program last December, the Nigerian government said the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), will come with free services to 1million selected vehicles.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated that NGEP launch “secured the realisation of government’s commitments to domestic gas utilization.”
He said gas as catalyst provides “cleaner, safer and better energy options” for the country, pointing out that government is encouraging greater domestic consumption of LNG, CNG and LPG.