SON moves to standardise LPG market

cooking gas08 April 2014, Abuja – The Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has called on consumers to shun the use of kerosene and local fire wood or charcoal and embrace the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, also known as cooking gas.

Director General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu made the call during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.

Odumodu, stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and LPG marketers last year agreed on the need to introduce a new policy for LPG use in the country.

“The new system that we intend to introduce will enable us to have better control of LPG cylinders. It is in the whole value chain, not just about cylinders. It is also about the gas. It is also about all the other accessories even the pipe. It is a whole gamut of activities that we are reviewing,” he said.

Odumodu noted that the reported pandemonium in parts of Abuja as a result of multiple explosions was caused by the use of LPG gas and cylinders.  He explained that it was apparent that the tank was not located in a place where inflammable items or air can be circulated and it cut fire and the cylinder got exploded.

He said in Nigeria and several other  countries, the use of local firewood or all similar cooking items is being discouraged and the promotion of LPG is striving.

“Today in Nigeria, we seem not to have a process because things are not working.”

On the cylinders, he said the challenge is that just like anything that is manufactured, the LPG cylinders have expiry date and they also have to go through what is called re-qualification.

He added: “There is a standard in Nigeria NIS 587 that specifies that every cylinder must go through a requalification every five year. That also provides for a 16-year life cycle. It means that if you buy a new cylinder that meets all the qualification of the standard, after 16 years it should go through a thorough re-qualification exercise.

“And if it fails, it is discarded, or sometimes it may be refurbished, or if it is good it may also be allowed to continue but at that point it will have a specific period of use. And that is the way it is in other countries such as India, China and Turkey.”

Odumodu said SON has met with the Nigerian LPG Association (NLPGA) and others, adding that this week, the Council of the SON will consider the new policy for approval.

“The gas that goes into LPG is a mixture of propane and butane and Nigeria has been operating a 30/70 policy. But it appears that some people outside Nigeria are beginning to introduce some other kinds of combinations which we have already gone through a technical committee and the council we consider the recommendations of the report. And hopefully by April 8, it could be approved by the council. Once it is approved, we will go ahead and enforce the use of those kinds of gases.

“The new system, individuals will no longer own cylinders. The cylinders will be owned by the marketers, who already have been licensed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). The cylinders will be differentiated in color and they will have different codes,” he said.

“The reason why we are doing that is that we need to be able to hold somebody responsible any time there is a challenge or a problem in the market. So it will be a lot easier for us to monitor the use and then the marketers be responsible for re-certification or requalification of cylinders,”he added.


– This Day

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