The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Wednesday inaugurated the 8,400 Metric Tonnes (MT) Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) terminal built by Techno Oil in Kirikiri, Lagos.
Inaugurating the gas terminal, the minister said that Nigeria had earmarked the year 2020 to be the beginning of the decade of gas.
This, he said, is a period in which the national economy was planned for expansion and powering by the abundant natural gas resources of the country.
Sylva said central to such national aspiration was the deepening of LPG, known as cooking gas, penetration.
He said that the deepening was to reach a point whereby both domestic and commercial food cooking was expected to be fueled by LPG.
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The minister said with an LPG cylinder manufacturing plant of five million per annum and commissioning of the 8,400MT automated terminal, the company was no doubt set to provide end to end solution in the domestic LPG industry.
“The commissioning of this facility is definitely a good contribution to the two aspirations mentioned above in addition to environment protection, job and wealth creation by reducing deforestation and greenhouse emissions and promoting domestic gas value chain development.
“With the inauguration of this facility, there are now 12 LPG depots in the country, with a total storage capacity of 69,698MT.
“However, the Nigerian LPG market is still not saturated, there are huge opportunities for further investments in the entire domestic gas value chain.
“These include gas processing, transportation and distribution, storage, retail, manufacturing of equipment and provision of services,” he said.
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Sylva, who was represented by Dr Musa Zaki, Deputy Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), commended the company on its great milestone, both in its operation and in meeting the national aspiration.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu, said gas remains an integral feature in his administration’s quest to make Lagos a 21st Century economy.
Sanwo-olu was represented by Mr Olalere Odusote, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources.
He said that he strongly believed that pivoting Lagos State to a gas-powered economy would offer an array of economic and environmental benefits to its residents.
“Developments such as this will help to promote and deepen domestic LPG utilisation across the State, consequently reducing the State’s carbon footprint and ultimately benefiting the people of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
“As the major economic, commercial, and financial nerve centre of the federation, as well as the fifth largest economy in Africa, Lagos State is a major strategic hub for the downstream sector of the oil & gas industry.
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“We are a host to strategically located petroleum product storage facilities and primed for the growth in gas usage.
“Lagos is by far the largest consumer of petroleum and gas products in Nigeria.
“Indeed, in establishing this 8,400-ton capacity LPG Coastal Storage Terminal in Lagos, TECHNO Oil has made a strategic investment, significant step that will accelerate and deepen the growth of LPG to help diversify the economy, grow revenue and create jobs,” he said.
In her speech, Mrs Nkechi Obi, the Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Techno Oil, said
the terminal commissioned would generate up to 2,000 jobs in the months ahead.
Obi pleaded with the Federal Government to come to the rescue of Nigerian industrialists in their bid to contribute to the economic growth of the nation.
“We plead with government to provide funding to industrialists in building key facilities such as the one being commissioned.
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“Government should consider reactivating its butanization plants and also building new ones across the country to guarantee LPG availability nationwide.
“Similarly, it is also time for government to embark on media campaign to sensitize the populace on the benefits of LPG over other cooking fuels.
“More so, government agencies and regulatory bodies should enforce the rules to sanitise the space for a safe and profitable business environment.
“We remain thankful to the Lagos State government for being a worthy host by providing the much appreciated conducive environment for our business to thrive.
“This is yet another of our numerous projects that is being hosted in Lagos; we thank you from the bottom of our heart.
“Last year, our five million annual cylinder plant was commissioned by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo,” she said.
By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja