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NLNG allays fears of cooking gas scarcity in Lagos, saturates metropolis

The observed rising scarcity of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), popularly known as cooking gas, in Lagos which last week led to an increase in the retail price of the commodity, has been dispelled following the huge supplies of the product by Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) weekend.

Already, the Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Mrs Sophia Horsfall, has revealed that discharge of cooking gas to the New Oil Jetty terminal in Lagos started on Monday, meaning that retailing outlets will be restocked sooner than later.

Explaining more against the backdrop of marketers’ allegations of indiscriminate hike in the price of cooking gas due to inability of NLNG to meet up market demands, she noted that the company has all it takes to saturate the local market from time to time.

But the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers (LPGAR) branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) argued that the reduction in supply by NLNG had led to about 90 per cent increment in gas price within a space of one week.

LPGAR added in a statement that “It is likely that this ugly situation will continue if there is no urgent intervention, especially as Christmas and New Year approach. Just a week ago, in Lagos and some neighbouring states, 12.5kg LPG was sold between N2,600 and N3,000 at retail outlets. It is now sold between N4,000 and N4,500 owing to the sudden hike in the price by tank farm operators,” the LPGAR said in a statement.

However, the real issue in terms of the suspected bridge in supplies from Bonny gas plant cannot be unconnected with suspected piracy attack on the loaded LPG vessel, ‘Navigator Capricorn’, coming from Bonny en route to deliver the cargo to Lagos around October 15.

But Horsfall was quick to recall that before the attack experience, “We delivered a total of 32,050MT (three cargoes) in the month of September to Lagos. Our next delivery for about the 10th of November will be to NOJ terminal in Lagos. We typically deliver at least two cargoes of the LPG each month to Lagos via NOJ and Navgas terminals.”

In an interview, the Executive Secretary of NALPAGAM, Mr Bassey Essien, said that the price of 20 metric tonnes of LPG, which cost between N3.15m and N3.5 million, had suddenly moved to N4.2 million.

The spokesperson said that the company was most pleased to say that it commenced delivery to this terminal in October.

On the new plant in Bonny, NLNG spokesperson averred that “Going forward, we will deliver LPG to the Nigeria market via the Stockgap Terminal and the two terminals in Lagos as well as other terminals that pass the strict technical compatibility reviews.

“In addition to helping with the penetration objective, this effort has also improved the supply chain efficiency with improved value potential for industry participants,” Horsfall said.

This she said, was due to the success recorded in the technical approval processes required to deliver LPG to the Nigeria market via the Stockgap Terminal and the two terminals in Lagos.