NNPC Begins LPG Infrastructure Expansion,Targets 10% Global LNG Market Share …As NIPCO Backs Government LPG Initiative

 Yemisi Izuora 

In its determination to deepen the use of Liquefied petroleum Gas, LPG, otherwise known as cooking gas, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said it is embarking on expansion of LPG handling infrastructures acoss the country.

The Corporation said the step is in line with its aggressive policy to grow local consumption of the cooking fuel even as it targets 10 per cent  market share of the global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market.

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who disclosed this on at the opening ceremony of the 8th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, said the plan includes expansion of the NNPC LPG storage facility at Apapa from 4,000 metric tons, mt to 8,000mt in the first phase, the construction of pipelines to deliver LPG to plants in the hinterland and development of coastal supply facilities.

The GMD who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Engr. Henry Obih, said that the Corporation was determined to invest in making LPG available to Nigerians to discourage the current trend of using firewood and other unsafe means for cooking, stressing that it was time to bring LPG closer to the people and at affordable price.

In a presentation entitled: “Strategic Direction – Driving Nigeria’s LPG Future”, the GMD said significant investment has been made by the Corporation to address the challenges of products deficit. 

“We have also purchased two LPG vessels for export operations through the West African Gas Ltd (WAGL), a joint venture firm, and we have developed a growth strategy plan and gradually providing LPG skids across NNPC Retail outlets”, he stressed.

On the global scene, Dr. Baru declared that NNPC was doing everything to leverage on the nation’s enormous gas reserve to secure about 10 per cent of the global market share of traded LNG.  

Meanwhile, NIPCO Plc has heightened plots to weaken deforestation rocking parts of Nigeria with multi-million dollars investments.

Managing Director of the company, Sanjay Teotia, who said this at the 8th annual international conference and exhibition organized by Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) in Abuja, maintained that this is being done through NIPCO’s huge investments in cooking gas sub-sector.

The feat, he said, “has not only created lots of awareness on the benefits of gas as domestic cooking fuel but has also served as drawback to deforestation in the country.”

Throwing his company’s weight behind the Federal Government agenda to grow the LPG sub-sector, the NIPCO’s boss promised continuous and deliberate efforts in “supporting government’s genuine desire to make LPG domestic cooking fuel of choice among the populace.”

He continued; “We diversified in the gas realm in 2009 with the inauguration of a state of the earth LPG plant in Lagos with a total storage capacity of 4,800MT spread across three spheres and a three point loading gantry.

“As at the time of its inauguration, it was the biggest LPG storage in the country thus creating veritable avenue to store gas and distribute effectively with the  scores of LPG trucks commissioned by the company.”

In 2017, the company, the helmsman of NIPCO said, “we improved on the  storage capacity and other LPG infrastructures in a bid to meet growing LPG stakeholders’ interest.

“We commissioned the biggest LPG single sphere in Africa with a capacity of 5,600MT and increased the loading arms in the gantry to five in a bid to ease loading of trucks for onward distribution of the product to all the nooks and crannies of the country.” Teotia added;

 “Today, NIPCO controls a major share of the LPG market with its massive storage facilities and other infrastructures put in place to aid access to the product by the populace.

“The peerless service being provided by the company has made it depot of choice by many bottling plants and others in the business of LPG.

“The improved storage facility and product reception at the terminal has been a major boost in the effective turnaround of LPG vessels berthing at the Apapa jetty”, he pointed out 

  “In buttressing the assertion, the Managing Director, Nigeria LNG, Tony Attah on a visit to the company’s LPG plant said; “I never in my wildest imagination believe that this kind of facility exist in Apapa here. I can see also very huge investment that NIPCO has put into upscale the amount of LPG that they can receive into the country. For me that is the real game changer and we are committed to continue to support NIPCO and indeed Nigeria to bring about the positive change in terms of energy availability for Nigeria”,he added 

“We have also gone ahead to empower potential LPG users through donation of gas accessories like cylinders, hose, burners among others, to some communities in Auchi, Edo state; Apapa, Lagos state; and some public schools in Lagos.”

The feat has, according to him, “not only created lots of awareness on the benefits of gas – as domestic cooking fuel – but has also served as drawback to deforestation in the country.

“In the realm of creating meaningful access to end users, we have inaugurated several ad on skid plants at the company’s retail stations across the country. This is aside from some dedicated LPG filling stations in some focal markets.

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