Suspected contaminated cooking gas enters Nigerian market

Kunle Kalejaye

26 June 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – INDUSTRY operators in Nigeria have raised an alarm of a large quantity of contaminated or off-specification liquefied petroleum gas, LPG or cooking gas finding its way into the Nigerian market.

The operators suspect that the product may have come in through the borders from Niger Republic, in spite of efforts to beef up security across the borders. The contaminated product is said to contain about 55 per cent propane and 45per cent butane.

In an interview with Vanguard, the Chairman, LPG Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. BamboAdemiluyi, said the 55 per cent propane content was very high.

“LPG is a type of petroleum gas that contains propane and butane. In Nigeria, what is acceptable is 20 per cent propane and 80 per cent Butane. Butane is stored at much lower pressure than propane, propane has higher pressure.

“But what is coming into the country from Niger, has 55per cent propane and45per cent butane and most of our cylinders cannot store propane for a long time including some of the tanks used in the plants cannot store propane.”

He maintained that such LPG specification, if exposed to very hot environmental conditions, could result in complications that might lead to explosion, adding that just one truck of LPG that contains high level of propane is enough trouble.

He urged the federal government to find a way to stop the importation of the contaminated LPG into the country, adding that if the product must be brought in, “government has to find a place very close to the border to have this gas blended to the right proportions before they are brought into the country.”

Ademiluyi admitted that just a small quantity of high propane LPG is entering into the country. “They come in trucks but one truck is enough trouble.

“That is why we have to discourage the importation of the product from Niger Republic, and raise the alarm over it for the safety of Nigerians. People who are importing this product should know that the industry is aware of their illegal acts.”

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