Cooking gas scarcity: Respite as LPG laden vessel discharges

SCARCITY of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) otherwise called cooking gas may soon be over as a vessel laden with the product discharged its content last week.

Scarcity of the household product has risen by almost 70 per cent from an average price of N3000 per 12.5kg cylinder to an average of N5000 per 12.5kg cylinder.

Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune on the development, the President of Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA), Mr. Dayo Adesina, stated that “as an association, we are quite mindful of the versatility of LPG price. The reason for the recent hike in LPG price was that a vessel meant to discharge on the 29th of December 2016 couldn’t do that until 17 of January 2017. This was due to preference for an ATK (Aviation Turbine Kerosene) vessel that was given preference to discharge instead of LPG vessel. This led to scarcity price hike in LPG.

“If we don’t have hiccups at the jetty, the effect would have been minimal. The moment tank began to dry, panic began and people took advantage and hiked the price. If there is a glut during winter, it would have effect on the price. Constant supply is the solution.

“Though heavy winter also leads to hike in LPG price but it is a temporary setback, things will soon go back to normal once adequate supply is guaranteed. Government is also working to ensure that the challenge of multiple discharge is addressed.”

On why Nigerians always express scarcity of LPG during end of year, he stated that it doesn’t apply to present Nigeria.

“In the past, I mean during winter, price of cooking gas used to go up due to increase in demand for gas in Europe. But it doesn’t apply to present day Nigeria because we have been having steady supplies from Nigeria LNG and other suppliers.

“As much as supplies are guaranteed and there is glut in the market, supplies will always exceed demand and price will always fall or be reasonable.”

NLNG had commenced supply of LPG to the Nigerian domestic market since in 2007. That first NLNG LPG cargo into the domestic market was discharged at Apapa jetty on December 26, 2007.

At the moment, NLNG has signed Sales and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) with 15 off-takers, all Nigerian companies, in which the company is committed to deliver up to 250,000 tonnes of LPG into the Nigerian market annually, in line with the commitment to grow the domestic LPG market in Nigeria.

On safety and other related issues, Adesina stressed that NLPGA don’t compromise safety standards and urged the regulator, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), to ensure that substandard cylinders and unqualified operators are curbed.

“Safety is another issue we don’t compromise on. Lots of illegal operators in the industry are a source of concern to us and we will continue to engage the regulator to clamp down on these illegal operators. We don’t want any incidents again.

“Before you can build a skid, DPR supposed to visit the site, you need to submit your ATC drawing and the DPR must confirm the viability of the site. The rule says there must be fire extinguisher, but I don’t think these people put all these into consideration. Moreover, people don’t care about the legality or otherwise of these operators. All they care about is to fill their cylinder,” he said.

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