The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has commenced the audit of petrol retail outlets across the country, with an initial order for a select 9,000 petrol stations across the country to immediately upgrade their facilities to enable them dispense gas to vehicles.
DPR head of public communication, Mr. Paul Osu, in a statement said the directive was aimed at deepening the utilization of domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG and Autogas as alternative fuels for Nigerians.
He said this is in furtherance of the federal government’s National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) promoted by the federal ministry of petroleum resources, which seeks to encourage increased gas usage; serve as a cheaper and cleaner alternative to petrol for transportation, with the introduction of autogas and deepen the usage of cooking gas.
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The move also supports federal government’s decision to provide affordable fuels and ensure domestic gas penetration and expansion in the country, while entrenching price freedom for Nigerians.
According to him, the DPR had carried out nationwide audit of all retail outlets in Nigeria and had categorized them into three — Categories 1, 2 and 3 -– with a view to ascertain readiness for deployment of Add-On facilities for gas products.
Quoting the DPR director, Sarki Auwalu, the agency spokesman revealed that about 9,000 retail outlets, representing 27% of total number of retails outlets in Nigeria, were listed in Category 1, and had been identified as suitable for immediate integration of Add-On facilities based on obust safety assessment and technical considerations.
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He said that the DPR executive director had directed all Category 1 Retail Outlet Operators to commence immediate installation of modular Add-On facilities or full-scale stand-alone plants and update their DPR Operating licences accordingly.
The director added that all operators of retail outlets in Categories 2 and 3, whose facilities do not meet the minimum requirements or do not have sufficient land area, are encouraged to apply for stand-alone LPG, CNG, LNG or Auto Gas facilities (full-scale or modular) under an incentivized regulatory regime.
The DPR had also approved the deployment of skid-mounted modularized/containerized LPG/Autogas handling systems and other intrinsically safe systems for gas storage and handling to promote affordability, accessibility, and availability of the products.
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He said: “The DPR as an opportunity house and business enabler, encourages investments in auto conversion, production of composite cylinders and ancillaries (valves, hoses, among others) for domestic LPG, CNG, LNG and Autogas penetration.
We are confident that retail outlet operators and other investors will leverage on these opportunities in the domestic gas sector to grow their wealth and create employment for Nigerians.”
By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja