As a result of skyrocketing cost of diesel, the Federal Government is having dialogue with investors on how to power Nigeria’s trains with electricity or gas.
There is tendency that the government may resort to the use of e an Independent Power Project that will operate at a frequency and voltage
Speaking in a statement, the Managing Director, NRC, Fidet Okhiria, said that the corporation, had begun discussions with potential investors on how to make the plan possible
He said, “We are looking at how fast we can connect our trains to electricity. We are discussing with various people who said they can provide power. So, it is either by connecting our trains to run using electricity or by changing our locomotives to run on gas.
“We are also assessing how readily available these alternatives are. We are exploring these options presently. We are considering them as alternatives instead of diesel. So we are studying it.
“We have some people who have come to us and are working with our men in the research department to see if the present locomotives we have can be converted. And how possible is it that if we want to get new locomotives we can make them run on gas. We are also sourcing how easily available are these things we are talking about.”
Okhiria added, “However, I think the best option is to have an Independent Power Project that will service the rail, but it will not be the same rating with the regular domestic power supply. This is to avert a situation where people will start tapping into it.
“So, we have to do it in a way that if you are talking about 50 hertz frequency for the regular power supply, the frequency and voltage for the rail IPP should be different, so that even if they tap the power, it will not work for them. That is what we are looking at presently and what we are discussing with potential investors.”
According to him, if the plan scale through, the corporation would find it easy and cheaper to maintain the trains.
“We believe it will be cheaper and easier to maintain the trains because we will now have less moving parts of the locomotives when they powered by electricity,” he stated.
Okhiria added, “We are discussing with the potential investors and they are going around looking at our right-of-way and other facilities, as well as how they can come in.