The Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) off-takers, popularly known as cooking gas marketers, have accused the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) of marginalising them in the distribution of the product in Lagos.
An official of the marketers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on condition of anonymity on Monday in Lagos that NLNG deliberately restricted supply of cooking gas to the Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC) jetty in Lagos.
But in a swift reaction, the NLNG denied the allegation when NAN contacted its Corporate Communications Department.
The LPG off-takers source said that NAVGAS, operator of the terminal, had requested for supply on several occasions, but got no response from the NLNG as to why the product was not delivered to the terminal.
The source said that NAVGAS terminal only received product thrice in the year, while the PPMC/NIPCO terminal received more than 12 deliveries.
“Traditional delivery in the past had been supply of LPG to the two jetties of NAVGAS and PPMC.
“This is usually available for NLNG to deliver its product.
“Also, other terminals in the country are unable to receive from NLNG due to low draft which could not take NLNG vessel (Navigator Capricorn), if fully laden.
“All terminals including NAVGAS and PPMC/NIPCO, import are to augment domestic supply in the event NLNG vessel is busy delivering to other terminals,” the source said.
The off-takers said that there was a table which illustrated the disproportionate delivery of NLNG volumes since the start of the current contract year and expected to end in September.
The source further said that NIPCO had received a relatively favourable delivery compared to other terminals.
According to the source, NIPCO capacity was 9,800mt, while NAVGAS and PPMC have 11,000mt and 4,000mt respectively.
Reacting,Mrs Anne-Marie Palmer-Ikuku, Head, Media Relations of Nigeria LNG Ltd., said the company had been supporting the domestic LPG (DLPG) market since 2007.
Palmer-Ikuku said from the beginning, Nigeria LNG involvement in that market had promoted market competition, while encouraging all terminals to provide Third Party Access (TPA) to all credible buyers.
According to her, the principle has guided NLNG’s engagement with terminal owners and buyers.
She said: “Today, the significant majority of NLNG off-takers take their volumes through the PPMC jetties which have provided TPA to all interested buyer and are preferred because they are cheaper.
“NLNG as a reasonable and prudent operator honours all its contracts and does not discriminate against any buyers.
“All Annual Contract Quantity (ACQ) commitments have been met for all buyers without exceptions.
“No buyer has been denied volumes that were committed to them during the contract year.
“Algasco for instance has taken 23,643.39mt out of its ACQ of 26,000MT for this contract year.
“This is 90 per cent of its volumes with more than two months to the end of the contract year.”
The manager said NLNG would continue to work with the government, buyers and other industry players to ensure a level playing field for all buyers.
This, Palmer-Ikuku said, would help continue in boosting the growth recorded in the oil and gas sector of the economy.