FG Considers Powering NRC Locomotives With Gas To Reduce Cost

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to transition the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) locomotives from diesel to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG).

Naija News reports that this announcement was made by the Minister of Transportation, Said Alkali, underscoring the administration’s commitment to providing efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly transportation solutions.

The transition plan was unveiled following a presentation by the De-Sadel consortium, which proposed the LNG-CNG alternative during a joint session with the Ministry of Transportation and the NRC.

Minister Alkali, in a statement from the ministry’s Director, Press and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi, expressed optimism that this move would lead to more efficient and cost-effective rail services, especially in light of the recent removal of fuel subsidies.

To facilitate this transition, Alkali has directed the establishment of a seven-member technical committee to explore the feasibility and benefits of retrofitting NRC’s locomotives with LNG-CNG technology. The committee is expected to deliver its recommendations within a fortnight.

“It is the desire of our President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to provide an efficient, affordable, and sustainable transportation system for the people of this great country and I am sure this would go a long way in bringing down the cost of transportation,” said Alkali.

The minister further highlighted the De-Sadel Company’s offer to retrofit their existing LNG-CNG kits onto NRC’s locomotives at no cost to the government, including replacements in case of damage, as a compelling proposal that could significantly reduce transportation costs.

In line with the directive, the technical committee has already begun its work, conducting a visit to NRC’s workshop in Idu, Abuja, to assess the feasibility of the retrofitting project. The findings confirmed the viability of integrating LNG-CNG technology into NRC’s locomotives.

Sam Uko, Managing Director of De-Sadel Consortium, pointed out the advantages of adopting LNG-CNG technology, such as cost savings and an extended engine lifespan. Uko revealed that the consortium has 50 gas-powered locomotives ready for deployment and has committed to supplying gas for five years to address any concerns about gas availability.

Furthermore, De-Sadel proposed security enhancements across the railway network, including the installation of real-time monitoring systems to prevent vandalism and ensure the trains can operate round the clock, thereby boosting NRC’s revenue.

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