The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Lagos Zone, has said that it sealed off 59 illegal cooking gas plants in the state from January to June this year.
The illegal Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants were shut down for various reasons ranging from operating within densely populated areas and other approved locations to operating without approval from DPR and contravening the DPR guidelines for the establishment of LPG refilling plants and retail outlets among others.
This disclosure was made by the Assistant Director, Operations, DPR, Lagos Zonal Office, Mrs Olubunmi Ogundare, on Friday, during a surveillance operation she led in Alimosho Local Government Area of the state.
Ogundare said the affected LPG plants were sealed for not complying with the prerequisite safety standards and operating without pertinent approvals.
The oil and gas regulator sealed 8 gas plants located at Idimu, Ikotun-Egbe, Ipaja and Igando at the end of the operation.
What the DPR Lagos Zonal top official is saying
Ogundare said the move was part of the agency’s oversight duty of monitoring activities of companies operating within the industry across the value chain adding that the surveillance, which she described as a continuous exercise, was aimed at curbing the proliferation of LPG facilities and ensuring safety of lives and property of Nigerians.
She said that the exercise will also help to sanitise LPG facilities in Lagos State by enforcing standards in their operations.
She said, “Those identified illegal LPG facilities contravened the DPR guidelines for the establishment of LPG refilling plants and retail outlets in Nigeria.
“You cannot operate LPG plant without applying for pertinent approval from DPR. For you to get this approval, you must go through three phases which take place in stages from setting up the LPG facility, construction and commencement of operations.’’
According to Ogundare, the 3 approvals are site suitability, approval to construct and licence to operate.
She said, “If you don’t have these pertinent approvals, you are not supposed to operate an LPG facility in Nigeria.’’
She also advised Nigerians to report any illegal and unsafe LPG facility within their locality to the DPR for the regulatory agency to take necessary action.
What you should know
It can be recalled that earlier this year, the DPR announced that it shut down 86 LPG plants in Lagos State in 2020 for operating illegally.
This is coming at a time when there have been reported cases of explosions at gas stations in the state with several fatalities and destruction of properties.
The DPR said that the plants were also operating without prerequisite approval or licence from the regulatory agency.
While pointing out that some of the sealed plants were operating under high tension electrical installations and other unapproved locations, DPR noted that the move was aimed at reducing the occurrence of gas explosion and fire incidents in Lagos State.