By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Sokoto, May 26, 2022 The Federal Government says the on-going 284 km Kano–Dutse–Jibia (Katsina State}–Maradi in Niger Republic will link Sokoto and Yola in Adamawa to boost the economy of the states.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Thursday during a media tour of the five-million tonnes per annum (mtpa) BUA Cement Factory in Sokoto.
Naija247news reports that the minister is on tour of the facility accompanied by more than 30 journalists drawn from the print, electronic and social media.
“I have just confirmed that the Kano-Kataina-Jibiya-Maradi rail is going to have branches in Sokoto and Yola.
“This means that by the time the section of the rail is completed, it will be cheaper to transport cement from Sokoto to all parts of the North and Nigeria as a whole.
“It will also help in bringing down the cost of energy because they can use rail to bring liquefied Natural Gas for electricity use in the plant.
“We are very confident that in few years time the challenge relating to transportation of cement will be overcome and we can look forward to crash in price of cement,” he said.
Mohammed said that BUA Cement factory was the first cement plant in Nigeria to use Liquefied Natural Gas to generate electricity for its production, thereby replacing coal in its kiln.
According to him, it has made the plant environmentally friendly to also curb climate change.
The minister, however, expressed worry over the haulage of LPG from Port-Harcourt to the Sokoto plant by road.
He assured that the rail project would ease the burden.
According to Mohammed, when the AKK gas pipeline project is completed, it will drastically reduce the time and cost of transporting the gas currently being trucked from Port Harcourt to the plant.
“At least, 20 trucks of LNG are brought here daily from Port Harcourt. imagine the costs and the logistic challenges involved in this,” he said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director and CEO of BUA Cement Factory, Mr Yusuf Binji said they resulted to using LNG instead of diesel because of the reliability in the supply chain.
“The LNG is a much more cleaner fuel with less carbon emissions and our equipment and generators run better on gas than LPPO, diesel.
“The LNG cannot be contaminated and it is also cheaper than diesel,” he said.
He said currently, the LNG comes from Port-Harcourt to the plant under freezing condition as it was being transported by road.
The CEO said upon arrival to the plant, the LNG would be regassified for use in the plant.
Binji who conducted the team round the 50mw LNG power generating site in the plant, said the company had commenced work in another 70mw to bring the capacity to 120mw.
He said with the extension of the rail to Sokoto and the completion of AKK gas plant, it will reduce cost of transportation by at least 50 per cent.
The CEO said the reduction in cost of transportation would in turn reduce the cost of production and the price of the finished commodity.
Naija247news reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had in Feb. 2021, performed the ground-breaking of the Kano–Dutse–Jibia (Katsina State}–Maradi 284km rail project connecting Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic, virtually.
The 25 kilometers Kano-Maradi railway will run from the Nigerian border town of Jibiya to Maradi connecting the three northern Nigerian states of Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina, as well as traversing the border between the two nations.
The train project, which is valued at 1.8 billion dollars has the potential to change the economic outlook of northern Nigeria and the larger Sahara region.