The federal government has disclosed its plan of conveying petroleum products to various parts of the country by rail.
In early 2016, Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, had said rail transportation of petroleum products to selected parts of the country would commence before the end of the first quarter of 2016.
But that never saw the light of the day.
However, Jerry Oche, Lagos railway district manager (RDM) of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), told DailyTrust that the haulage would begin on the week of June 4, with Automated Gas Oil (AGO) also known as diesel to be transported to Dagbolu in Osun state.
According to him, the corporation has been in talks with major oil marketers and has succeeded in convincing them of the viability of transporting petroleum products by rail.
“We are just trying to commence the movement of petroleum products. We have stopped for some time. The one we are doing is for ourselves. We buy the petroleum products and take them to our various depots,” he said.
“I just finished having a discussion with a client this morning. We are supposed to commence movement of petroleum products specifically AGO for him by next week to Dagbolu in Osun state.”
Explaining the risks that come with transporting premium motor spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, he said the corporation will only move diesel for the time being.
“For now we are doing diesel, not Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); the risk with PMS is higher. For all our AGO trains, we have the runner wagons, between the locomotives and the first tank wagon,” he said.
“The runner wagon is always a flat wagon filled with sand or stone so that if the tanker catches fire, it won’t cross over to the locomotive and if the locomotive catches fire, it won’t cross over to the tanker.
“These tanks are pressurized; they are not the usual type of tank that would explode if they fall. You can run 24/7; whether night or day. If there is expansion, it takes off by itself. There is a releasing fab and it is completely sealed.”