The Managing Director of 11plc (former Mobil Oil) and Chairman Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Adetunji Oyebanji has identified huge financial investment in infrastructure and technology as key to expand and increase the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Nigeria.
Oyebanji made this assertion at the just concluded the 2021 Nigeria Oil and Gas conference held in Abuja last week. He said during a panel session that the bane of CNG is investment on infrastructure. He gave an example of over 700 vehicles in Benin, Edo State running on CNG made possible by NIPCO a sister company which has not been replicated in any other State because of this factor.
“You need a lot of sophiscated equipment to compress the air and pipeline system to extract the gas. There is 50 kilometres pipeline that goes round Benin that is able to feed individual CNG stations. Obviously, there is requirement of significant investments.” Oyebanji said.
The MOMAN Chairman stated clearly that CNG requires viable investments with the right economics and financial support that will attract investors including financial institutions.
He disclosed that CNG is cheaper but the infrastructure to support it is complicated and expensive. In his words, “one thing that have learnt since have been in this business for forty years is that Nigeria has no issue with getting competent investors. If the country decides to get involved in building of aeroplanes, it will not find it difficult to get investors but there has to be an enabling environment for them to thrive.”
Therefore, CNG and LPG can attract investments with the right environment and perspective for investors to thrive. The massive investments of CNG infrastructure in Benin is a testament that if there is a viable environment for investment, it will sprout and transcend across the country.
On the aspect of Liquefied Natural Gas (LPG), Oyebanji said there is substantial investments and lot of expertise in the system but as a country, “we should determine what to do with a better approach which is to take advantage of our gas resources to enable us to move faster since we have infrastructure that will make fast progress.”