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Its time bomb setting up Skid gas plants in petrol stations—NALPGAM

The leadership of the Association of LPG Marketers (NALPGAM) has warned against the recklessness deployment of skid gas plants within the premises of a petrol filling station without recourse to laid down environmental specifications by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
A statement issued by the National Public Relations Officer, John Yakubu in Benin made it clear that whereas it was not against skid gas dispensing LPG (Cooking Gas) plants set up, such establishment must be in line with the same Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) applicable to standard gas plants to avoid explosions and gas infernos.
NALPGAM revealed that by law and available regulations, sitting skid gas plants within the confines of petrol stations has not been allowed by DPR regulations, rather the SOP is for them to retail already filled gas cylinders.
The group therefore 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.
Besides, the unfolding development runs contrary to the Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu’s policy of returnable cylinders system as part of drive to deepen penetration in the usage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG; Cooking Gas) in the country over the traditional fire wood.
Yakubu recalled 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 and therefore expressed shock that almost every mega filling station in cities now has skid gas plant contrary to laid down safety standards.
NALPGAM said “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 legislation to allow these skid plants to operate safely.”
Continuing, Yakubu explained that “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 noted.