By Yemie Adeoye
THE Managing Director of Nigeria LNG Limited, Mr Chima Ibeneche decried that it is mind boggling for a nation as blessed with gas like Nigeria to still be depending on other sources of fuel for domestic use.

Ibeneche who made the observation while on a working tour of Nipco Plc LPG Plant in Apapa, Lagos noted that with the abundant gas resources in the country, Nigerians should no longer be using firewood for cooking, in view of its impact on deforestation.

The NLNG boss, who affirmed his organisation’s intention in bringing Nipco on board as an LPG off-taker, also argued that it was criminal for the nation to still be using firewood, as there is no plausible excuse for this anomaly.

He, therefore, called for cooperation among stakeholders to make access to gas a reality in the overall interest of the

Ibeneche noted that Nipco took the bull by the horn with the construction of a Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG Terminal, thus creating a synergy between it and the NLNG, adding that Nipco’s concept fits into his company’s philosophy of assisting the local market to access gas at affordable rates through adequate supply and in turn, stimulate more investments in the sector.

He also pointed out that although the original business model of the NLNG is not along the lines of domestic supply, as it was charged with harnessing Nigeria’s vast gas resources and production of LNG for export, it ventured into local supplies in 2007, the same year Nipco muted the idea of the LPG storage facility.

Ibeneche argued that the horizon for increased LPG supply to the local market is getting better with the entry of the likes of Nipco, which he said has fulfilled all the conditions for becoming an off-taker.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director of Nipco, Mr Venkatapathy Venkatraman, said Nipco’s entry into the gas market was in response to the call by the Federal Government for genuine investors to come into the provision of necessary infrastructure that could aid the supply of gas in the domestic market.

He said the Nipco LPG terminal with a storage capacity of over 4,500 Metric Tonnes, MT, is the second biggest plant in Nigeria, and is fully automated.

He added that the company also invested in transportation with the procurement of over 20 bulk tankers to facilitate the evacuation of gas to all nooks and cranny in the country.

Venkatapathy acknowledges the immense support of the NLNG in the entire supply scheme and assured that the confidence reposed in the company as an ally in LPG distribution will not be betrayed.

According to him, the unflinching support being given to the company will definitely have a rippling effect on the investment climate in the downstream as sector in the provision of necessary infrastructure for gas utilisation in Nigeria.

In line with its mission to make gas easily accessible, the Nipco boss said his company is presently deploying LPG skids, which will serve the cooking needs of the populace and promote the use of LPG as auto fuel.

The LPG Skid, which is the latest technology in the dispensing of gas for household and vehicular fueling is a mini filling station with surface tank pumps and meter.

In addition, he also said the company has inaugurated three Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, stations and a fitment workshop in Benin, Edo State, adding that the project is a joint venture with the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, and another milestone towards CNG revolution in the country.

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