FG To Reduce NRC’s Locomotive Costs With Dual-Retrofit Engines

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The Minister of Transportation, Sen. Said Alkali during an on-the-ground visit to the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s locomotive workshop, Idu, Abuja.

The Federal Government said it is advancing efforts to curb operational costs by retrofitting the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s (NRC) locomotives with dual-fuel engines.

During a visit to the NRC’s locomotive workshop in Idu, Abuja, the Minister of Transportation, Sen. Said Alkali disclosed that the retrofitting process, which began a month ago, is now at an advanced stage. He emphasised that this initiative could reduce maintenance costs by 60 to 70 percent and significantly cut carbon emissions. “Once the locomotives switch to gas, there won’t be gas emissions,” Alkali explained.

Alkali highlighted that Nigeria is the first country in Africa to retrofit locomotives from diesel to gas. “The engine will operate on 30 percent diesel and 70 percent gas,” he said. “At startup, the locomotive uses diesel, but once running, it switches to gas.”

Alkali noted that the project has progressed rapidly within the past month. “We are here to review the process and engage with the engineers. The retrofit is at an advanced stage and we plan to test-run the engine tomorrow. This will help determine when the system can be fully deployed on commercial routes.”

The initial implementation will begin with the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor, as the retrofitting workshop is in Abuja. Following this, the retrofitting process will extend to other rail corridors across the country.

This project follows a proposal by the De-Sadel Consortium to retrofit diesel engines to LNG/CNG models. In response, the minister directed the formation of a technical evaluation committee to oversee the process.

The dual-retrofit initiative represents a significant step forward in reducing operational costs and environmental impact for Nigeria’s railway system. By embracing this innovative approach, the Federal Government aims to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of the nation’s rail transport infrastructure.

Oluchi Okorafor
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