Auto Gas Conversion

Automotive LPG or Autogas is the most accessible alternative fuel. Driving an LPG vehicle is safe, easy and, in many countries, considerably cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel model. LPG also emits less CO(Carbon-dioxide) and fewer other emissions such as NOx (Nitrogen Oxide).
Autogas first came into light in the mid 1930’s, LPG had been discovered in Germany only a few years earlier as a condensate when compressing refinery off-gas to extract gasoil. It was being sold in cylinders as propane and butane or as a less refined mixture of both components. At the same time countries with a low supply of oil like England and Germany began experimenting with alternative fuels in search of alternatives to fuel their growing car fleets. Ultimately striving for self-reliance, no option was to be left untested. Among others, experiments were conducted with natural gas (methane) and LPG and it was discovered that vehicles running on LPG where more efficient than as it combines low cost and emissions with compared to traditional fuels.
There are four types of Autogas conversion systems:
  1. Converter-and-mixer systems
  2. Vapour phase injection (VPI)
  3. Liquid phase injection (LPI)
  4. Liquid phase direct injection (LPDI)

Global Adoption of Autogas   

Autogas is the most widely used alternative to conventional automotive fuels. Its acceptance and use have been growing quickly in some countries (Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South-Korean, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, US), with Nigeria being the foremost African country, thanks to government policies to encourage the use of alternative fuels on account of its inherent environmental, practical and cost advantages over other such fuels.
Auto Gas in Nigeria
In Year 2020, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari declared it as the Year of Gas, and programmes are being implemented towards achieving this, such as;
The National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), which would help accelerate vehicle conversion and deployment of required infrastructure for the Autogas initiative and the LPG Penetration Framework are programmes, designed to reduce the national energy consumption of petrol and diesel by achieving a 40% switch from convention fuel to LPG in 10 years. The programme will also promote the wider use of LPG as Autogas, in households, power generation and industrial applications towards the attainment of five million metric tonnes domestic utilisation and creation of an estimated 500,000 job opportunities nationwide in five years. This is a step towards the Governments efforts in providing an alternative source of energy which is cheaper, cleaner and available in terms of production and supply.
In May 2023, the newly appointed president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, decided to eliminate fuel subsidy that had traditionally maintained affordable fuel prices for Nigerians. Since then, fuel prices have skyrocketed, with Nigerians currently paying over N600 for a litre of petrol, a significant increase from the previous N185 official pump price before the subsidy removal.
The sudden surge in the price of petrol, a vital energy source in Nigeria, set off an immediate chain reaction that impacted individuals and businesses. Market prices for goods soared, and transportation costs became unaffordable, forcing citizens to pay twice as much as they had been paying before.
As the overall operational costs associated with fuel purchases rise, Nigerians find themselves compelled to explore alternatives to cope with the expensive fuel prices. From embracing solar energy to utilising gas, citizens are seeking more cost-effective options. We previously explored how the removal of the fuel subsidy has fuelled the transition to gas-powered generators in Nigeria. Interestingly, equal attention is being drawn to gas-powered vehicles. 
President Tinubu recently announced an investment of N100 billion between July 2023 and March 2024 to acquire 3000 units of 20-seater CNG-fuelled buses has been made. However, beyond governmental procurement, a trend of personal acquisition of gas-powered vehicles and the conversion of existing fuel-based vehicles to gas among Nigerians has emerged.
These vehicles are economically advantageous and boast a cleaner environmental energy footprint compared to their petrol-powered counterparts. Although still nascent, there exists significant potential for a higher adoption rate. First, Nigeria has substantial gas reserves, ranking the 9th largest globally with approximately 209.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of verified gas reserves. The federal government asserts that Nigeria presently contributes to 33 per cent of the total gas reserves across the African continent. Secondly, the population is readily open to embracing alternative energy sources beyond expensive traditional fuels.
It has been reported that transitioning from petrol to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has the potential to save Nigeria up to N3 trillion annually. But this relies heavily on widespread commercial adoption. To achieve this goal, the government must take significant strides to encourage the acceptance of gas-powered vehicles. And one pivotal strategy involves the establishment of robust CNG station projects and necessary infrastructure.
To begin with, unlike our traditional petrol stations, CNG filling stations are essential infrastructure for a successful transition to CNG-powered vehicles as they provide the necessary fuel supply for vehicles to operate effectively. But in Nigeria, CNG stations are not prevalent and are relatively scarce in the country. And this may make it difficult for Nigerians to access convenient refuelling options for their vehicles. 
Commendably, the government is charting a path of development in this direction. The need for state governments to key into the project of setting up CNG Conversion Plants and stations to ensure swift and seamless transition.
These aspirations are lofty yet attainable. But, history has shown that projected delivery dates for projects or infrastructure in Nigeria are not always met. This situation raises concerns, as it could impede the swift expansion of CNG adoption.
In a similar vein, the existence of essential infrastructure such as efficient gas transportation pipelines remain crucial. The seamless distribution of gas to different locations including states, storage terminals, or depressurization points, all in service of CNG stations, is notably facilitated by the presence of pipeline infrastructure. As an example, the northern region of Nigeria, facing a shortage of gas supply, would profit from initiatives like the Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano Natural Gas Pipeline, which regrettably remains pending. 
Moreover, the introduction of free import duties and tax incentives can catalyse expediting the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Nigeria. Currently, the conversion kits essential for CNG-powered vehicles are brought into the country through imports due to the absence of local manufacturing.
Speed- Gas is ready to  aid  in the establishment of the Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (CNGI) in any state of the country.
This transformative initiative is poised to revolutionize the transportation landscape in the country, targeting over 5,000 CNG conversion kits for existing PMS-dependent vehicles, while simultaneously bolstering in-state manufacturing, local assembly and expansive job creation in line with directive.
The landmark initiative, which comprises of a Comprehensive Adoption Strategy, will include the following: Empowering Workshops Programme w/ Nationwide Network of Workshops, Local Assembly and Job Creation as key points of emphasis with an initial focus on mass transit systems and student hubs in order to significantly reduce transit costs for the general populace in the immediate term. After the pilot, we want to assemble in Benue State and then look forward to building drivers’ training centre’s here. In the next two years, we are planning to build about 24 of such training centre’s with our local partners and we want to certify drivers at different levels which would serve as a bench mark for employers.