Sahara Group Limited, a global energy conglomerate, on Wednesday, said it would invest at least $1bn in the production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, popularly called cooking gas.
It disclosed this during a learning session organised by the company for energy editors in Abuja, where it explained that the firm was also investing in the production of Compressed Natural Gas.
The Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, Ejiro Gray, said the oil giant was increasing its vessels to boost the supply of gas in Nigeria and across Africa.
“For LPG in particular, we are doing a lot of that. We have a five-year plan to invest at least $1bn in LPG and how are we going to do that? , it is by building the logistics infrastructure.
“So you are talking about, for instance, vessels. We are greatly increasing our fleet. Currently, we have four LPG vessels; we have two in the making at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea for LNG vessels as well.
“And the reason is because we need to be able to boost regional supply in Nigeria and across West Africa. The plan is within the next few years, we want to build up to this 75,000 metric tonnes capacity for LPG,” Gray stated in response to a question on what the company was doing on gas.
She said the firm was already working on a storage plant in Cote D’Ivoire that would boost internal supply, “and also to neighbouring landlocked countries around the region. We are also doing that in Nigeria, also to boost supply.”
Gray added, “So for LPG, we are very big on it. CNG, the reason why we have not yet invested is because of infrastructure. We don’t have that infrastructure network yet in Nigeria for CNG.
“Unless you just want to do trucking and by the time you do, the cost is high because the truck will probably move on diesel and all of that. Unless you are able to get one that is engineered to move on to CNG.
“Yesterday I read somewhere that gas marketers are saying that by December, price of a 12kg cylinder may go up to N25,000 and what did they cite as issues? Things like the transportation, infrastructure network, etc. The cost of transportation is what is adding to the overhead.“
Gray said Sahara Group definitely wanted to go into CNG production, “but we also need support in building that infrastructure to be able to drive it. We can’t do it alone.“