Federal Gov’t Retrofits Dual-fuel Engines On Locomotives To Cut Costs, Carbon Emission

The Federal Government has intensified efforts to retrofit Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) locomotives with dual-fuel engines, aiming to reduce operational costs by up to 70% and cut carbon emissions.

Minister of Transportation Sen. Said Alkali stated this during a visit to the Idu workshop of the NRC in Abuja, highlighting that Nigeria is the first in Africa to implement this diesel-to-gas conversion.

Alkali also disclosed that the initial phase will focus on the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor.

A statement on Tuesday by the Assistant Director of Press and PR in the ministry, Muhammad Tahir Zakari, quoted the minister to explain that the process, which began last month is currently at an advanced stage.

“If successful, it will significantly reduce maintenance costs and carbon emissions, as the locomotives will primarily use gas, eliminating gas emissions during operation,” he said.

Alkali emphasised that the retrofit will enable the engines to work on a dual-fuel system, with the locomotives running 30% on diesel and 70% on gas.

“At the time you want to start the locomotive, you use diesel. But once started, it will switch over to gas and keep moving,” he stated.

The Minister further noted that the progress so far includes interfacing with engineers and preparing for a test run of the retrofitted engines.

He added that the test will determine when the system can be fully deployed on commercial routes.

He said, “The retrofit process will begin with the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor, given that the workshop for the retrofitting is in Abuja. Subsequent phases will extend to all other rail corridors.”

This initiative follows a proposal by De-Sadel Consortium to the ministry on retrofitting diesel engines to LNG/CNG models, leading to the formation of a technical evaluation committee to oversee the project.

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