LPG marketers express worry over skid deployment in filling stations
The Association of LPG Marketers (NALPGAM) has stated the need for legislation to be put in place before skids are allowed become operational, noting that it will be tantamount to putting the cart before the horse without regulations.
The group also commended the Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu in his effort at deepening the usage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG; Cooking Gas) in the country over the traditional fire wood.
In a statement in Benin signed by NALPGAM National Public Relations Officer, John Yakubu said that it was not against skid but insisted that skid must operate with the same Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) applicable to standard gas plants as laid down by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Yakubu noted that the right procedure for petrol filling stations to dispense LPG (Cooking Gas) until now as approved by the DPR is for them to retail already filled gas cylinders.
He added that the idea of the Petroleum minister to put legislation in place that will enable petroleum product marketers to set up LPG filing plants in petrol filling stations is still under conception saying that, “we are shocked that the whole space is already inundated with skid.
“Apparently, these skids have been set up and are in operation, in circumvention of the strict DPR regulations and standards required to operate these skids. We all know, for the important reason of safety that dispensing of LPG must be done in an enclosed environment.
“This holds true even in developed nations, such as USA and Great Britain. What is sold there in filling stations, and international super stores like Wall Marts are already filled cylinders of various sizes neatly stacked together.
” It is our candid submission that only DPR can change this present configuration by putting forth new standards through legislations to allow these skid to operate safely.”
NALPGAM cautioned against any attempt to allow LPG tanks to be tucked into petrol filling station, warning that allowing the dispensing of LPG in such filling stations with constant vehicular movement is a disaster waiting to happen.
“Clearly, there are known and acceptable safety standards needed to operate a gas plant; either as a standard gas plant or a standalone skid because of its extremely hazardous nature.
“For the avoidance of doubt, for any cylinder filled either at standard filling plant or skid, there is always an escape of some quantity of LPG while disengaging the filing head from the filled cylinder. It is important to note that as at today, there is no known available technology to stop that escapes. For this simple reason the standard for filling plant is such that vehicles coming into the plant are supposed to carry spark arrestor.”
NALPGAM however frowned at what has been so far emphasized by the Public Relations Officer of Cooking Gas Skid Proprietors Association of Nigeria (CGSPAN) to be a conception of legislation by the Petroleum Minister with involvement of the DPR as part of the effort to allow the introduction of skids across the country adding that,” if the legislation has not been put in place, then where on Earth are members of Cooking Gas Proprietors Association of Nigeria, drawing their operational approval from? “