MPs push for expansion of CNG filling station network

DODOMA: THE government has been urged to increase the number of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations in the country and deploy measures which will help to reduce the cost of converting the vehicles from fuel to gas system to enable more people to afford the service.

Tabling a report on activities undertaken by the Parliamentary Com- mittee on Energy and Mineral in 2023 here yesterday, Chairman Dr Mathayo David said that the number of vehicles using CNG has increased from 1,139 in 2020/2021 to 3,000 vehicles in 2022/2023.

He said the situation is due to the fact that CNG is cheaper by 40 per cent compared to fuel especially in Dar es Salaam, Coast and Mtwara regions.

“The increase in number of vehicles using CNG has caused long queues at the five gas filling stations available in the country thus causing motorists to spend long time at the stations,” Dr David said.

“The National Assembly resolves that the government should increase the CNG filling stations in the country starting in areas where preliminary processes for infrastructure construction have started including Dar es Salaam, Coast, Morogoro, Dodoma, and GPSA stations,” the chairman said.

He further said that since most of the vehicles being imported in the country have not been installed with CNG system and owners are being forced to change them the government should find out ways of reducing the cost of 2m/ and address the shortage of inspectors in the field cur rently are only 10 in the coun- try and the workshops which are only four.

The MPs also urged the government to start encouraging the importation of vehicles which are installed with CNG system, in order to reduce the conversion cost.

According to Mr David the gas produced at Songo Songo and Mnazi bay 80 per cent is used for power generation, 20 per cent for industries, domestic use and vehicles, noting that until January this year, there were a total of five CNG stations of which, three are in Dar es Salam, one in Coast Region and one in Mtwara Region.

He said the reliance on fuel make life harder for low income earners who are supposed to benefit from imported and local produced CNG.

Mr David said that the committee had last November toured India and learnt that gas consumption on public and private vehicles is higher compared to petroleum products. According to him 65 per cent of public and private owned vehicles in India use CNG.

“The committee has learnt that besides inflation and Ukraine-Russia war the shortage of US dollars has also rises the prices of petroleum products,” he said.

According to him, between September and December 2023 the government imported 2,083,795 metric tonnes of petroleum of which, 46.3 per cent was on transit.

He affirmed that CNG consumption for vehicles is way far cheaper compared to diesel and petrol. Contributing on the committee report, Kilumbe Ng’enda, Kigoma Urban legislator (CCM) argued that dollar shortage in local banks is one of the impacts that comes with the reliance of the currency in importation of fuel. According to him, the government should lead the initiative of using compressed natural gas (CNG).

“A number of studies have shown that a vehicle which is installed with a CNG system consumes gas worth 16,000/ to ply 200 kilometres, while the same car if using diesel or petrol can cost over 60,000/-,” said Ng’enda.

He challenged the government to prioritise importation of necessary facilities for vehicle system conversion by encouraging tax incentives for individuals to convert their vehicles.

“The government owns many vehicles and it is my expectation that it will take the lead in this transformation with effect in the coming 2024/2025 by starting importing CNG vehicles and converting the old ones,” said Ng’enda.

Samwel Hayuma, Hanag legislator-CCM questioned the current status for the implementation of the LNG project. According to him, negotiations with investors have been finalised since last May but nothing was going on.

Related Articles

Back to top button