.DPR probes Lagos incident

Ejiofor Alike

Stakeholders in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas sector (LPG) sector, under the aegis of the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) have unveiled measures to end the incessant gas plant explosions in the country.

This is coming as the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has commenced investigation into the recent fire incident in a gas plant in Magodo area of Lagos, which claimed two lives.

Rising from its emergency meeting in Lagos, the Safety and Technical Committee of NLPGA has called for greater collaboration with agencies of government to eliminate incidents of gas plant explosions in the country.

In a communiqué at the end of its recent meeting, the committee noted that the gas plant explosions recorded in 2018 have highlighted the need to address the three overarching industry objectives – safe handling and best practises in LPG; loss of containment (prevention of gas leaks); and successful disaster management.

“As an association we are at the forefront of championing specific and impactful actions to mitigate incidents and accidents. Central to this is a robust programme to educate all stakeholders along the value chain, which means every participant in the industry from supply side (ship owners and producers), through to demand side (residential and industrial consumers) are educated on the safe handling and use of LPG,” said the committee.

NLPGA’s deputy president, Mr. Nuhu Yakubu, who presented the communiqué, stated that the committee is working on programmes to address the three main objectives along specific target groups.
He identified the groups to include consumers and end users, industry practitioners and government and regulatory agencies.

The committee listed its efforts to include awareness building and training on the safe storage and use of LPG; education on best practices for installations in homes and high rise buildings and certification programme for installers.
The committee also stated that it has engaged in training for truck drivers on the safe loading and unloading of LPG; training for operators, managers and supervisors on the safe operation of plant equipment according to global best practices and training and certification of installers of equipment and piping systems.

“The association through its Safety and Technical Committee has been cooperating with regulatory bodies through: capacity building programmes on disaster management; development of standards and operating guidelines in line with best practices; and campaigns for the elimination of bad practices. The industry holds as its ultimate objective the promotion of the safe use of this exceptional form of energy for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians,” the communiqué added.

In a related development, the Director of DPR, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, has stated that the agency has commenced probes of the fire incident in a gas plant in Magodo area of Lagos, adding that all parties involved would be invited for interrogation to know the cause of the fire incident and the next line of action.
Speaking during the inspection of the gas plant, the DPR boss said an inquest which would commence immediately after the inspection, would last for three weeks.
Ladan disclosed that the premises of Second Coming Gas Plant was licenced in 1996 when there was no structure in the area.

“There was no structure here when the plant was given licence for operation in 1996. We are saying this to let the people know that the facility had been located here before the residents started building their houses. The whole place was bushy when they started operation, it wasn’t like this before,” he said.
On the cause of the incident, a director of the gas plant, , Mr. Ifenna Okeke said the incident was as a result of gas leakages from one of the company truck.

“On Monday morning around 7am, we discovered a gas leakage from one of the company trucks. Operation Manager immediately turned on all the company fire resistants and alerted the Fire Service on the leakage. The firemen came, put their firefighters motor at alert and started stopping motors plying the road because the gas leakage had circulated by that time. Suddenly, a Golf Car driver who had been warned not to start his car, started the engine and everywhere exploded,” he explained.