JUST IN: Prof. Mfon Lauds Indigenous Gas Firm Over CNG Plant Project In Delta

Prof. Mfon Lauds Indigenous Gas Firm Over CNG Plant Project In Delta

Prof. Mfon Lauds Indigenous Gas Firm Over CNG Plant Project In Delta

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The United Nations SDGsN Country Director, Amb. Prof. Joseph Legend Mfon, has commended an indigenous firm, PNG Gas Limited, for the successful completion of the panel review on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of its CNG plant at Ebedei, Ukwuani LGA of Delta State.

PNG Gas Limited is the owner and operator of Egbaoma Gas Plant located at Ebedei, Egbaoma, Delta State, . The gas plant processes 30 million standard cubic feet of wet gas daily. PNG Gas Limited intends to construct and operate a 5mmscfd Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) located adjacent to the existing Egbaoma Gas Processing Plant (EGPP). The progress of the journey was recorded with the just-concluded panel review on the draft EIA of the proposed 5mmscfd CNG by the Federal and State Ministries of Environment, Ukwuani Local Council and the host communities on the March 22, 2024.

Prof. Mfon, who is a Professor of Environmental Management and the United Nations SDGsN Country Director (Nigeria), said during the panel review presentation on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment, that currently, the earth is experiencing several environmental issues resulting from increased human emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses (GHGs), noting that globally, transportation accounted for 14 per cent of total energy-related GHG emissions in 2018.

He also listed numerous benefits of the PNG Gas project, saying CNG offers economic benefits for vehicle owners through reduced expenses, thus making it a more financially viable option, among others.

“The transportation sector is the second largest contributor to global emissions of GHGs. , trucks, ships, and planes burn fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel, which emit very harmful pollutants such as CO2, NOx, SO2, and particulate matter (PM) into the atmosphere,” he stated.

He reiterated that over the past decade, CNG has become a popular automotive fuel in several countries due to several compelling reasons, including cost efficiency, energy security and environmental benefits.

Prof. Mfon said CNG vehicles emit fewer harmful air pollutants per mile than petrol and diesel vehicles in countries with lax emissions laws, particularly in developing countries.

“Since most of the developing cities have a severe air pollution problem and diesel and petroleum-powered vehicles are the largest sources of air pollutants, conversion to CNG-fueled vehicles offers various air quality benefits as will be achieved by the PNG Gas Limited CNG plant,” he said.

He also said that, road traffic is a major contributor to several dangerous air pollutants, such as CO2, CO, SO2, CH4, NO2, NMVOC (non-methane volatile organic compounds), PM, etc, adding that, “These pollutants contribute to air pollution and climate change, global warming and can lead to more extreme weather events. Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of , heart disease and several other diseases.”

Mfon said the primary source of GHGs from transportation is the burning of fossil fuels in cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes, pointing out that most transportation fuels are petroleum-based, including gasoline and diesel, which account for over 90% of fuel consumed.

“Furthermore, the number of vehicles on the road grows rapidly each year, contributing to increased GHG emissions. As a , many countries, particularly developing countries, have focused on replacing gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles with CNG-powered vehicles. This reduced GHG emissions and will help the of Nigeria save on gasoline and diesel imports.

“The project is expected to significantly improve the economic base of the country (Nigeria) and be a catalyst to further promote foreign participation in the country's industrialisation efforts. Furthermore, the Project's activities will lead to the creation of many businesses and employment opportunities through direct and indirect involvement of consultants, contractors, suppliers and other professionals at different stages of the project. The total value of the project's contribution to the economy equals the sum of the investment and associated deliverables and the project's direct and indirect benefits.

“Urban areas are subjected to noise pollution caused primarily by vehicular traffic which has severe consequences for residents' well-being. Noise generated by vehicles contributes to a disruptive and stressful environment. Traffic congestion, engines, horns, and tires on the road combine to create a loud cacophony in urban environments. Noise pollution in urban areas is made more severe by the sheer number of petrol and diesel fueled vehicles on the road. These vehicles are typically equipped with internal combustion engines that generate high noise during operation. This pervasive noise pollution has a wide range of health consequences, including stress, sleep disturbances, hypertension, cognitive impairment, and reduced overall quality of life.

“Compared to CNG-fueled vehicles, diesel and petrol-fueled vehicles emit more pollutants due to differences in the combustion process, fuel composition, and emission control technology. Diesel and petrol engines rely on internal combustion, which produces higher temperatures and produces a greater amount of NOx, and PM. Further, diesel and petrol contain higher levels of carbon and impurities, which result in the release of more CO2, CO, SO2, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Conversely, CNG vehicles emit fewer pollutants because of cleaner combustion, lower carbon content, and advanced emission control technologies. As a cost-effective fuel source, CNG offers economic benefits for vehicle owners through reduced fuel expenses, thus making it a more financially viable option.

“CNG vehicles also have fewer maintenance requirements than diesel and petrol vehicles, as they have fewer moving parts and require less frequent oil changes. CNG vehicles have smoother and silent engines than those in gasoline and diesel vehicles, which reduce noise pollution. CNG conversion is not an exclusive policy in transportation studies. Replacing existing petrol fueled vehicles with CNG vehicles or retrofitting them to run on CNG offers significant air quality benefits, and following that, many countries have successfully introduced a diverse range of CNG vehicles into their vehicle fleets,” Prof. Mfon argued.

The SDGsN Director said that recognising that accelerated action was required to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the COP27 through the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), H.E Antonio Guterres, cover decision requests Parties to revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal by the end of 2023, taking into account different national circumstances.

“The PNG Gas Limited project is aimed at solving the abnormal temperature rise due to gas flaring in Nigeria.

“Therefore, in this study, the environmental (vehicular pollutant emissions and noise pollution) and economic (pollutant emissions costs and vehicle operation costs) benefits of CNG conversion in the main public transport systems will lead to a cleaner environment,” he stated.

Prof. Mfon thanked the Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, for his inspiring support for the project and efforts in preserving the ecosystem.

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