In line with the Nigerian government’s plan to regulate and enhance the use of domestic gas in the country, Vice President Yomi Osinbajo over the weekend inaugurated a plant for the production of cylinders for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
The plant which was built by Techno Oil Limited in Lagos is the country’s first fully indigenous automated LPG cylinder manufacturing factory. With a capacity to produce more than five million LPG per year, the output could meet local demand and possibly be exported to other West African countries.
Speaking during the commissioning, Osinbajo described the inauguration as a landmark moment for Nigeria’s mid-downstream gas sub-sector while commending the company’s effort. “Techno Oil’s investment auspiciously converges with our administration’s efforts to speedily diversify our economy, especially through domestic and indigenous solutions,” the Vice President said.
The federal government’s reform on the usage of cooking gas is driven by the need to deepen the penetration of LPG among Nigerians. “When we came into office in 2015, one of the issues we identified was the abysmally low domestic utilisation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in Nigeria – a nine percent penetration rate nationwide, despite Nigeria’s domestic LPG production of three million metric tonnes per annum,” Osinbajo revealed.
More so, Nigeria’s dominant fuel options have for a long time been petrol, diesel, and firewood, all of which present significant health, environmental, economic and social challenges. Thus, natural gas and its derivatives such as LPG are a better option being more healthy, affordable and environmentally friendly. They also present substantial economic and investment opportunities across the Nigerian economy.
The goal is to achieve five million metric tonnes of domestic, commercial and industrial LPG utilisation in 10 years, the VP disclosed. For household cooking, the government is targeting a 40 percent adoption rate in five years, and 73 percent adoption in 10 years.
The reforms also include a collaboration with some manufacturers to give 600,000 cylinders to distributors on credit, which is expected to be repaid in 18 months. With this, the government aims to create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Executive Vice-Chairman of Techno Oil, Nkechi Obi, rued the dearth of cooking gas cylinders in Nigeria, putting the figure at just two million. She reiterated her firm’s resolve to tackle this predicament by producing a million high-quality cylinders in four months and break the barrier of acquiring cylinders at high costs.
Techno Oil is an integrated, wholly indigenous company which holds a diverse portfolio of investments in oil and gas, energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing.