Federal Government Mulls Switching NRC Locomotives to Gas for Cost Reduction

Federal Government Mulls Switching NRC Locomotives to Gas for Cost Reduction

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The Federal Government is contemplating a significant shift in powering Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) locomotives with gas, aiming to curtail expenses. This initiative was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Said Alkali, underscoring the administration’s dedication to offering efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly transportation solutions.

The transition proposal emerged following a presentation by the De-Sadel consortium, which advocated for the LNG-CNG alternative during a collaborative session with the Ministry of Transportation and the NRC.

In a statement released by the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi, Minister Alkali expressed optimism about the potential for enhanced efficiency and cost-effectiveness in rail services, particularly in light of recent fuel subsidy removals.

To facilitate this transition, Alkali has mandated the establishment of a seven-member technical committee tasked with assessing the feasibility and advantages of retrofitting NRC locomotives with LNG-CNG technology. The committee is expected to deliver its recommendations within two weeks.

Alkali emphasized President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to establishing an efficient, affordable, and sustainable transportation system, believing that this initiative will significantly lower transportation expenses.

Furthermore, Minister Alkali highlighted De-Sadel Company’s proposal to retrofit their existing LNG-CNG kits onto NRC locomotives at no cost to the government, including replacements in case of damage, as an enticing offer that could substantially reduce transportation costs.

Aligned with the directive, the technical committee has initiated its activities, conducting an assessment visit to NRC’s workshop in Idu, Abuja, to evaluate the feasibility of the retrofitting project. The findings affirm the practicality of integrating LNG-CNG technology into NRC locomotives.

Sam Uko, Managing Director of De-Sadel Consortium, elaborated on the benefits of adopting LNG-CNG technology, citing cost savings and extended engine lifespan. Uko disclosed that the consortium possesses 50 gas-powered locomotives ready for deployment and has committed to supplying gas for five years to address any concerns about gas availability.

Additionally, De-Sadel proposed implementing security enhancements across the railway network, including the installation of real-time monitoring systems to deter vandalism and ensure uninterrupted train operations, thereby boosting NRC’s revenue.

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