The Federal Government, through the Department of Petroleum Resources, has directed 9,000 filling stations in the country to commence the installation of facilities for gas products.

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It had earlier announced that the dispensing of autogas into automobiles through selected filling stations across the country will commence by the end of September.

It was gathered that autogas to be dispensed into automobiles and other prime movers include Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas, depending on the type of vehicle.

The Committee on National Gas Expansion Programme had been assigned to ensure the effective implementation and take-off of this initiative, according to documents obtained from the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in Abuja.

The Director of DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, disclosed that the agency issued the directive to deepen the utilisation of liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and autogas as alternative fuels for Nigerians.

Auwalu stated this in his interaction with stakeholders in Lagos on Thursday, according to a statement on Friday entitled ‘DPR issues directives to deepen gas usage as alternative fuel.’

He said the directive was in furtherance of Federal Government’s aspirations to provide affordable fuels and ensure domestic gas penetration and expansion in Nigeria while entrenching price freedom for Nigerians.

He said the DPR had carried out a nationwide audit of all retail outlets and categorised them into three – categories one, two and three – with a view to ascertaining readiness for deployment of add-on facilities for gas products.

According to him, about 9,000 retail outlets, which represents 27 per cent of the total number of retails outlets in the country are in category one and have been identified as suitable for immediate integration of add-on facilities based on robust safety assessment and technical considerations by the DPR.

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He said the department had directed that all category one retail outlet operators should commence immediate installation of modular add-on facilities or full-scale stand-alone plants and update their DPR operating licences accordingly.

Auwalu said, “All operators of retail outlets in categories two and three whose facilities do not meet the minimum requirements or do not have sufficient land area are encouraged to apply for stand-alone LPG, CNG, LNG or autogas facilities (full-scale or modular) under an incentivised regulatory regime.

“The DPR has also approved the deployment of skid-mounted modularised/containerised LPG/autogas handling systems and other intrinsically safe systems for gas storage and handling to promote affordability, accessibility, and availability of the products.”

According to him, the DPR encourages investments in auto conversion, production of composite cylinders and ancillaries (valves, hoses, etc.) for domestic LPG, CNG, LNG and autogas penetration.

Auwalu said he was confident that retail outlet operators and other investors would leverage the opportunities in the domestic gas sector to grow their wealth and create employment for Nigerians.