By Yemie Adeoye
OANDO Plc, one of Nigeriaâ€™s leading integrated energy solutions providers, has concluded plans to upgrade its Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) terminal at Apapa, Lagos, to a 7,600 MT capacity ultra-modern terminal.
This initiative is in line with Oandoâ€™s commitment to ensure adequate availability of LPG (cooking gas) in the country.
According to its group Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Meka Olowola, to actualise this project, the company has awarded a Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED), contract to UK-based engineering design and project management firm, Optimus Services Limited (OSL).
The FEED, to be executed at N100 million, is to be completed byÂ year-end and, will form an integral part of acquiring all necessary regulatory approvals.
Construction of the terminal is scheduled for early next year subject to approval, whilst full operation is expected to commence by the end first quarter ofÂ 2011.
The project will further consolidate Oandoâ€™s leadership position of the downstream oil industry and enable it to dominate the domestic gas market.
Commenting, Mr. Ayo Ajose Adeogun, Chief Operating Officer, Oando Marketing states; â€œWith this contract, we have moved the project a step closer to commercialisation. Increasing product reception capacity supports abundance of product stock. In turn, this will guarantee retail availability and make gas more affordable.
Our ultimate objective is to encourage consumers to switch from wood and kerosene to cleaner and safer cooking gas. Oando is also committed to product storage optimisation with an effective market-leading freight system that will achieve two to three complete storage turns per month.â€
Also commenting, Mr. Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC said; â€œIt is regrettable that despite Nigeria being the worldâ€™s 7th largest in gas reserves with 187 trillion cubic feet (tcf), the country has the lowest per capital consumption of LPG in the whole of Africa at only 0.45kg/person/annum, due to a lack of adequate infrastructure.
For instance, the country has less than 20,000 MT functioning LPG shoreline storage available today as against the required 100,000 MT. Our ultra-modern terminal when completed by 2011, will provide in excess of 20% of the total storage requirement of the entire nation. This bold step underpins Oandoâ€™s commitment to put an end to Nigeriaâ€™s perpetual LPG shortages in the long term.â€
â€œAs inadequacies exist right across the supply chain, we will also enhance product availability at the retail end by injecting 100,000 units of high grade cylinders annually. All these are geared toward ensuring that we maintain market leadership in a profitable sector and thus increase return to our shareholdersâ€ Mr. Tinubu adds.