• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Innoson Motors prepares to roll out bi-fuel engine vehicles

Innoson exports first made-in-Nigeria vehicles to Sierra Leone

Nigeria’s only indigenous car maker says it is ready to deliver bi-fuel engine cars into the Nigerian market once the Federal Government rolls out the autogas programme by October.

Bi-fuel natural gas vehicles run on both petrol or diesel and various forms of natural gas such as the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LNG).

The use of gas to power engines is over 75 years old. Several countries today have well-developed autogas markets. Global consumption of Autogas has been rising rapidly in recent years, reaching 26.4 million tonnes in 2015 – an increase of 10 Mt, or 61 percent, over the 2003 level.

There are now over 26 million autogas vehicles in use around the world. Yet Autogas use is still concentrated in a small number of countries: just five countries – Korea, Turkey, Russia, Thailand and Poland – together accounted for half of global Autogas consumption in 2015.

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“Autogas is not new. It has been operational in Europe and America for many years and we making effort to be a part of it. We are talking to our engine manufacturers to produce engines that would have bi-fuel capability,” Cornel Osigwe, head, Corporate Communications, Innoson Motors said.

However, Nigeria lacks the infrastructure days to the roll- out date for autogas. In the whole of Port Harcourt, no refuelling station can dispense gas for automobiles and prime movers, according to Dickson Iwarimie, a local manufacturer of LPG tanks and pressure vessels.

“FG should be aggressive in rolling out the infrastructure; local manufacturers like us are here to support the project,” Iwarimie said. “Our products meet the Americal Society of Chemical Engineers code, same quality as you would get anywhere in the world.”

Part of the measures to ensure safety at the centres where petrol or diesel engines are converted to bi-fuel engines are licence from the Department of Petroleum Resources and a certificate from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.

Autogas comes with environmental, public health and cost reduction benefits. It will reduce pollution, carcinogenic impact of carbon emissions; make engines run more efficiently and cleaner. It has the potential of reducing routine maintenance to once in six months. The cost savings are significant too.

“For a hundred kilometres you would be saving N46, 000; for 50 kilometres you would be saving N23, 000,” said Justice Derefaka, technical adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to the minister of state for Petroleum Resources.

One million conversion kits are already available according to Derefaka. There would be a valueadded tax exemption for everything downstream for the domestic gas utilisation.