NIPCO expands distribution outlets for business diversification

The Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO), says it has made investment in the downstream sector to improve fuel distribution across the country.

Managing Director of the NIPCO Plc, Suresh Kumar, is said to have disclosed this during a facility tour in Lagos, according to a statement yesterday.

He was quoted to have said the company has continued to meet the yearnings of Nigerians with its state of the art facilities by supplying premium motor spirits (PMS) also called petrol, and automated gas oil (AGO) or diesel nationwide.

Kumar said the company currently has over 250 branded retail stations for white products and over 100 stations for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), while plans are in progress to build many more.

He said the company has 10 world-class petroleum tanks fitted with electronic radar gauge and a combined capacity of 85 million litres, supported by 10 loading arms and 2 buffer gantries loads over 200 trucks per day.

Kumar said the company is also investing massively in gas infrastructure to optimised utilisation of the nation’s abundant gas resources.

He said the company has invested huge sums of money in local and foreign currencies   in developing Nigeria’s natural gas over the years, while more projects are still in the offing.

Already, the company has established Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) facilities across the country to make cars run on gas, while it is currently expanding its scope on supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and constructing new pipeline infrastructure to strategic locations in the country.

He said: “We have spent more than $50 million on natural gas infrastructure over the years. We believe that there are lots of potential in Nigeria that can be explored for gas utilisation, and this will further boost our economy.

“By using indigenous gas, we can reduce the subsidy burden on the Federal Government. We can reduce the importation burden and that will directly or indirectly save our huge capital flight and there will be more employment opportunities for Nigerians.

“We are the pioneers. We always dream for the future. So we dreamt of natural gas utilisation in Nigeria right from 2008, and we started investing.

“We introduced this model to the government and said: look, Nigeria is a country that has abundant natural gas and instead of wasting subsidies on petrol, we should be looking at a blueprint for changing the petrol market to CNG market,” he said.

According to him, NIPCO is an integrated company that supplies the Nigerian market with petrol, diesel and gas, and currently has about 19,500mt combined storage capacity for LPG, with 10 loading bays which can truck-out over 4,000 tons per day.

We have spent more than $50 million on natural gas infrastructure over the years. We believe that there are lots of potential in Nigeria that can be explored for gas utilisation, and this will further boost our economy.

Autogas expansion

The Managing Director, NIPCO Gas, Nagendra Verma, said the company currently has 14 CNG filling stations in various states across Nigeria, while another six CNG stations are currently under construction.

He said over 7,000 vehicles are presently running on CNG, adding that about 350 trucks in NIPCO’s fleet are all running on gas.

“We have workshops which are fully efficient and fully capable to convert PMS vehicles to gas, we have the expertise and we are ready to convert more vehicles to run on gas,” he said.

Verma said: “So, we intend to have CNG stations in almost all the states of Nigeria wherever the pipeline is available.

“Presently we are laying an 80 kilometre LNG pipeline from Shagamu interchange to Ibadan.

“The pipeline work is going on. We expect to commission the first phase by the end of December 2023. And the entire pipeline is expected to be completed by next year,” he said.

According to him the company is also developing gas pipeline infrastructure in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, nearing completion.

He said the company is constructing a propane tank of 500 metric tonnes (mt) capacity, the biggest in Nigeria, to meet the Federal Government’s requirements of mixing a certain quantity of propane with butane for domestic gas.

According to him, the propane tank would be completed in the next three months and would aid cheaper and more efficient gas for domestic cooking.

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