JETTIES/COASTAL TERMINALS AND STORAGES
There are only four jetties or coastal terminals that can take LPG in the country. Three in Apapa, Lagos and one in Calabar
This is grossly inadequate for the coastal supply of LPG, which has now become the panacea to the acute shortfall in LPG supplies.
Investment is still required in this area to increase capacity to receive, store in primary storages for onward movement to secondary storages. These terminals need to dot the country’s coastal line.
Also known as butanisation tanks, they are situated inland. Gas moves from the coastal storages to inland storages. In the past, nine 12,000 metrics tonnes inland storages were built and abandoned because of lack of cooking gas supply
Many of these storages will need resuscitation and expansion and new ones need to be set up across the country to enhance accessibility and expand distribution network
STORAGE AND FILLING PLANTS
There are about 250 registered LPG bottling plants in the country. Only about 50% of these are functioning now. Although there is an increasing level of investments in this area but many still lie fallow due to lack of cooking gas supply
There is business sense in reviving the filling plant and building new ones in the hinterlands to supply most of the people who depend on firewood for cooking fuel.
This is the most reliable transportation of cooking gas to inland storage tanks.
Public private-partnership to resurrect the railways for this business would not be out of place in the scheme of things to turn around the market.
Trucks carry the cooking gas from primary storages to secondary storages and to the filing plants.
Investments are needed in 20-25 tons bulk trucks and smaller 5-10 tons bobtail trucks. There is also an investment opportunity in mobile filling plants (mounted on trucks) which can go house to house to fill cylinders.
This is the most critical component of the value chain With only 500,000 cylinders to 150m people, there is only one cylinder to 300 people. Nigeria needs about 2 million cylinders annually. Investment is needed in the importation of cylinders or the importation of steel plates ta manufacture cylinders in the country.
There is also investment in businesses that involve distribution of cylinders. Different sizes of cyinders can be sold depending on the market, from 1.25 kg to 50 kg.
PIPING GAS TO HOUSES
This is the practice in other parts of the world which is also an opportunity here in Nigeria. The rise of modern estates all over the country makes this an imperative
Simple manufacturing techniques can produce accessories such as gas burners, cylinder valve, gas hoses, regulators, etc
This comes in handy for storing cylinders safely (wholesale) and getting distributors to market the products to the end-user. In some kind of cylinder-leasing schemes to sell LPG, the system of warehousing will ensure a continuum in supply of empty cylinders.
Distributors can buy cylinders and distribute with their own margins. A fantastic way to go about this is leasing of cylinders.
FILLING STATION FOR COOKING GAS
Imagine driving into a filling station to fill your cylinders the way you would fill your car with fuel. With improved cooking gas supply, the downstream sector of cooking gas could be as rewarding as that of petrol and kerosene.
Source: NLNG: The Magazine, Vol. 4, No 1, 2018.