The Managing Director of Pipelines Products and Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr. Haruna Momoh, said the subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is targeting to supply 500, 000 metric tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), or cooking gas by the end of 2014.
Speaking at a conference of Nigeria Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) in Lagos at the weekend, Momoh said LPG consumption had steadily increased from the 1980s till date.
â€œIn 1980s the country flared 75 per cent of gas produced but today flaring has reduced to 24 per cent. At the end of 2013, Nigerians consumed 250, 000 metric tons of LPG. About 3.2 million metric tons of LPG is produced annually but 840,000 tons is provided for consumption. In 2011 we consumed 26,000 tons of LPG, in 2012 it increased to 180,000 tons and in 2013 it also increased to 250,000.
“We hope to increase that to 500,000 tonnes by the end of 2014 and we also hope to double that to one million tonnes in 2015,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ultimate Gas Limited, Alhaji Auwalu Ilu, said the circulation of expired cylinders was hindering the growth of the cooking gas market in the country.
Ilu said this development had prompted operators in the sector to invest heavily in branded cylinders.
Currently, it is believed that less than one million cylinders are in circulation in the country because of the low percentage of LPG consumers.
Of the less than one million in circulation, experts said half of these cylinders have expired as their average life span is 15 years.
Explaining the reasons why LPG consumers were unaware of the safety steps to be taken for effective cylinder use, Ilu attributed it to lack of knowledge.
According to him, branded cylinders are directly supplied from the operators to the consumers, adding that the federal and state governments as well as private investors have commenced various initiatives to distribute branded and safe cylinders.
“Nigeria has less than one million cylinders in circulation because of the percentage users of LPG. More than half of these cylinders have expired, lack of knowledge is a factor. There are branded cylinders in the market now and these cylinders ?are directly from the operator to the consumer,” he said.
â€œIf LPG consumption is low, there will be low circulation of cylinders in the market. There is need for NALPGAM to innovate new ways to play down the price of LPG to boost cylinders circulation,â€ he added.