The oil and gas regulatory body said the audit of licensed LPG plants was aimed at ensuring compliance with statutory provisions on operational safety.
Speaking during the annual meeting of the DPR, LPG operators and stakeholders in Lagos on Thursday, the Operations Controller, Lagos Zonal Office, DPR, Mr. Olugbenga Kuku, said, “The department will embark on an operational facility audit of licensed plants, starting from next month, to ensure strict compliance with statutory guidelines and standards.
“In as much as we encourage the proliferation of LPG plants, prospective plant owners must follow due process to obtain all requisite approvals before the commencement of any upgrade or modification of the plants.”
Kuku explained that facility audits were expected to be conducted annually on all facilities/ plants to ensure compliance with operating procedures and standards.
“Preventive maintenance schedule of critical equipment shall be prepared and submitted to the department for monitoring purposes every January,” he said.
Some operators, who spoke with our correspondent under the condition of anonymity, however, expressed the fear that most LPG plants in the country would not pass the audit owing to massive sharp practices in the sub-sector.
Considering the recent scarcity and hike in the price of cooking gas in the country, Kuku warned the marketers against creating a monopoly in the market.
He said, “The high cost of gas in the country in recent times is not a welcome development. It is definitely against government’s aspiration of deepening LPG consumption and promoting the market.
“Gas marketers should desist from creating a monopoly in the market so that the price of gas can be affordable.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Head, Gas, DPR, Mr. O. C. Okparaojiako, said the use of gas product as automotive fuel was gaining acceptability among the Nigerian population, adding that this had given birth to auto gas stations and vehicle conversion facilities in the country.
He explained that the sustained increase in the number of applicants for approval by prospective plant owners was encouraging.
The Assistant Director, Downstream, DPR, Mrs. Folashade Odunuga, who is also the Operations Controller, Ibadan Zone, said though LPG consumption in Ibadan could not be compared to Lagos, she expressed confidence that the forum would add value to operators in the city.
The DPR said the annual forum was aimed at reviewing various regulatory and operational issues and challenges confronting the gas sector, and collectively identify ways of resolving them.
“The main purpose of the AGM is to provide a forum where we converge with various interest groups in LPG and Compressed Natural Gas operations in the Lagos Zone to interactively discuss topical regulatory issues that may impact on their operations or infringe on government’s aspirations for the Nigerian Gas Master Plan,” Kuku added.
Information from Punch was used in this report.