DPR Warns LPG Users to be Careful

George Osahon, Director DPR

THE Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has urged Nigerians to be careful with the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, gas cylinders, as some are expired and prone to fire accident at homes and in other areas. P.A. Emordi, head gas, DPR, Lagos zonal office, who disclosed this stated that gas cylinders have expiring dates on the valves with duration of 22 years of validity before which they should be disposed off.

Highlighting the breakdown of the years required for gas cylinders, Emordi noted that, after the purchase of gas cylinders, it should be taken for the first integrity test after 10 years, and five years before carrying out another integrity test. He stated that the cylinder should be used for five years and then taken for integrity test, and then finally two years, making the duration of 22 years before final disposal.

He added that gas cookers should undergo integrity test to correct every likely leakage of gas from the cookers. He, however, advised users of cooking gas not to open the gas cylinder before striking the match or fire, as the pressure of the gas can lead to a possible explosion.

Speaking on safety of operators in the industry, C.N. Njuku of DPR, stressed the need for operators to adhere to various design consideration/approvals and requirements such as layout, spacing and distance requirements for vessels, drainage and containment control. She noted that additional considerations such as fireproofing, water-draw system, and relief systems are also important with respect to the integrity of the installation and risk reduction.

According to her, stakeholders in the industry should ensure the proliferation of the LPG plant and prospective plant operators must follow due to obtain approval for the commencement of any intended gas project. Njoku argued that it was unethical for depots storing or coastal LPG to continue operation without a quality control laboratory even if an MOU was signed with a third party. “To stem the tide of fire accident, all product reception points must establish functional laboratories, depots for products re-certification. Additional considerations such as fireproofing, water-draw system, and relief systems are also important with respect to integrity of the installation and risk reduction.” He added that DPR aim is to increase monitoring of operations in order to ensure that it is done in a safe and secure manner and required by extant petroleum regulations,” she stated.

On his part, Basil Ogbuanu, national president, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Marketers, NALPGAM, urged operators in the industry to think safety first in their operations. According to him, NALPGAM is in partnership with DPR and has over the years reported issues of irregularities from tank farms that pose risk to operations.

FG, Global Business Resources to Build Solar Plants


THE federal government and the Global Business Resources, a consortium of international investors from the United States, have reached an agreement to construct two solar-powered electricity plants of 50 megawatts capacity each in Nigeria. Timothy Oyedeji, deputy director, press, ministry of power, said the two plants would be located in Kumbotso, Kano State, and Karu, in the Federal Capital Territory.

Oyedeji said the consortium’s mission in the country was to focus on developing actionable renewable energy generation strategy, using the abundant solar resources in Nigeria. He said that in addition to the construction of the two solar power plants, the consortium also proposed to undertake Geographic Information System mapping for renewable energy sources in the country to facilitate rural electrification projects on a public-private partnership arrangement.

The group has the target to develop a master plan that will fast-track 100 percent rural electrification in the next five years and inform Nigerian officials that the project would leverage on resources from the President Barack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative.

Mohammed Wakil, minister of state for power, who led the Nigerian negotiators, said Nigerians were excited about the initiative as the country needed power urgently. While calling on genuine investors to take advantage of the need gap, he said the vast resources of oil, gas, wind, sun and biomass should be developed for power generation, especially now that the sector had moved from public control to be privately driven. He said the transmission leg in the electricity chain, which is now being managed by a private foreign concern, would soon be privatised to allow for more resources to flow into it.

James Nicholas, who led the American consortium, said Africa had the most promising solar potential in terms of cost, adding that the US had developed cost-effective technology in response to pressures from Green movements. He said from the available information, the cost of 2.06 cents per kilo hour for solar energy was quite reasonable, adding that $106 million would be required to fund the two plants.

BPE Blames Gas Shortage for Delay in NIPP Privatisation


THE Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has said that gas shortage is responsible for the delay in the conclusion of the privatisation of the 10 National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, plants. Benjamin Dikki, director-general, BPE, said the ongoing privatisation of the NIPP plants was being delayed by the problem of gas supply which had stalled the signing of the gas purchase agreements that would make the transactions bankable.

He stated that concerted efforts were being made to secure reliable gas supply that would enable the signing of the agreements necessary to precede the process of privatisation of the plants. According to him, the privatisation programme is anchored on the attainment of clearly defined goals and parameters.

In the case of the generation companies, Dikki said capacities were expected to be ramped up from the current low levels to those that meet the minimum targets specified in the respective business plans submitted by the core investors. For the distribution companies, he said the performance of the business operations of the new owners would be measured on the basis of their abilities to reduce the aggregate technical, commercial and collection loss targets specified in their business plans.

The BPE boss further enumerated the key objectives of the reform and privatisation of the power sector, amongst which is to reduce the cost of doing business in Nigeria so as to attract new investments through the provision of quality and dependable power supply. Dikki noted that the power sector generally would require billions of dollars in expenditure over the next five years and that this was needed to achieve the goals of the electric power reform programme.

He added that BPE had ensured that the buyers of the power firms were contractually obligated to make investments, adding that the agency and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission would monitor the implementation of the requirements closely and continuously. The BPE boss also put the capital expenditure needs of the 11 distribution companies that were privatised last year at around $1.8 billion for the next five years; an average of about $360 million per annum.

Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu

— Oct. 6, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT


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