17 July 2013, Lagos – The current scarcity of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, otherwise called cooking gas, following the recent blockade of the facilities of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, will persist in the next couple of days as NLNG vessel, which arrived Lagos on Monday could not discharge cooking gas.
The vessel, MT Providence, loaded with cooking gas at the Bonny Island plant of the NLNG in Rivers State, following the lifting of the NIMASA blockade at the weekend, could not discharge the product on arrival in Lagos.
The inability of the vessel to discharge its products, it was learnt, arose from logistics problems emanating from lack of space for the vessel to berth at the North Oil Jetty. NOJ, belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
NOJ is one of the NNPC’s three jetties used by vessels to discharge petroleum products in Lagos. The two other jetties, it was learnt, are the Bulk Oil Jetty and the Petroleum Wharf.
It was however, gathered that the NOJ, which is used to discharge cooking gas to marketers was being used by another vessel, thus hampering the discharge of the cooking gas brought in by the NLNG.
A source close to NOJ said the facility would not be available for use until next week. “MT Providence has to wait because the vessel currently using the NOJ will not finish discharging its products until around July 21,” he said.
Efforts were, however, being made to divert the vessel to another jetty belonging to NAVGAS in Apapa to discharge the product. Since 2007 when the refineries failed to produce LPG for the domestic market, the NLNG Limited has been making available 150,000 metric tonnes of LPG yearly for domestic use, even though local consumption is still far below this quantity.
– Ejiofor Alike, This Day.