Obtaining a LPG License in Nigeria; All you need to know

LPG i.e. liquefied petroleum gas is popularly referred to as Autogas when it is used as a fuel in internal combustion engines in vehicles as well as in stationary applications such as generators. Autogas is not very common in Nigeria, but as the world is evolving and the debate on having gas as an alternative to power vehicles as opposed to the regular Premium Motor Spirit (popularly known as “Petrol”), it is important to note the necessary requirements, guidelines and procedure for the successful operation.

The Department of Petroleum Resources has enacted regulations and guidelines that stipulates the minimum requirements, procedures and conditions to be fulfilled before the grant of approval and licence for the construction / installation, modification, relocation and operation of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities.

Thinking of getting a DPR Permit? Read More!

HOW CAN I GET LPG LICENSE?

The Department of Petroleum Resources is the agency in charging of granting license to operators of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), the requirement and processes will depend on the category and size of the facility to be used for operation. Thus grant of a LPG License is a requirement for operating LPG station

Below are the steps for obtaining a license to operate an Autogas Station:

Step 1:

A written application is to be addressed to the Director of Petroleum Resources, 7 Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos or through the DPR Operations Controller within the jurisdiction of the proposed location or site, giving full details of the proposals.

Step 2:

The following documents and design diagrams shall accompany the application:

  1. Statutory Documents for Site Suitability Approval:

  2. A copy of application letter from the prospective applicant;

  3. A copy of Certificate of Incorporation of the applicant’s company;

  4. A copy of current Tax Clearance Certificate;

  5. A Survey Plan of the proposed plot of land; and

  6. Evidence of payment of application fee.

Upon receipt of the application, an inspection will be conducted by DPR officers to ascertain the suitability of the site. The validity period of site suitability approval granted is six (6) months.

  1. Statutory Documents and Design Diagrams for Approval to Construct an LPG Plant:

  1. A letter/approval from the appropriate Town Planning Authority, authorizing the siting of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas filling plant at the proposed site. Town Planning approval stamps on all design drawings are accepted;

  2. Two (2) copies of the approved drawings showing the existing or proposed buildings on the site and the relevant distances to the roadways and adjoining properties, if any;

  3. Two (2) copies of Survey plan, duly endorsed by a Registered Surveyor;

  4. Two (2) copies of Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) of the LPG filling plant;

  5. Two (2) copies of manufacturers' data sheet of the storage tank(s), where applicable;

  6. Two (2) copies of Codes, Standards and Specification adopted in the design, construction and installation of ancillary equipment;

  7. A provisional approval letter and fire report by Chief Federal/State Fire officer or an officer authorized by him on his behalf, that he is satisfied with the proposed arrangement for the prevention of fire;

  8. An approval letter from the Divisional Police Officer where the LPG plant will be sited or an officer authorized by him on his behalf, that the plant will not obstruct traffic or constitute any security hazard during its operations;

  9. Certificate of Incorporation of the company;

  10. Two (2) copies of Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company showing that the company is duly incorporated to deal in petroleum products. k. Current Tax clearance certificate;

  11. A copy of Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) proposal for the proposed plant and Environmental Impact Assessment report of the site for storage capacity above 10 Metric Tonnes; and

  12. Evidence of payment of application fees.

The documents and design drawings submitted will be reviewed in line with the required specifications. If the documents and drawings satisfactorily meet the statutory requirements, the site proposed for the plant will be inspected accordingly, otherwise the applicant will be advised to rectify all the shortcomings observed in the application.

  1. Site Inspection

The site shall be granted approval only when it meets the following criteria:

  1. It does not fall within any pipeline Right of Way (ROW);

  2. The site should be accessible from the road side;

  3. All setbacks by relevant agencies should be observed as it affects overhead electric cables, railway lines and pipelines;

  4. The distance of the proposed LPG storage tank location shall not be less than 15 metres from another property which may be built upon and 50 metres from Public Buildings (hospital, school, park, train/metro stations, mosques, churches, etc.);

  5. The proposed site shall be adequate to accommodate the spacing and safety distance requirements listed in Table 1 of this Guideline;

  6. The drainages to be constructed or existing ones shall not be channeled to a stream or waterway. Contaminated water should be contained and treated onsite;

  7. The proposed site shall not constitute a threat or hazard to the area; and

  8. The proposed site shall not be sited under electric high-tension wire.

If the above listed requirements are met, the Director or Officer assigned by him will grant Approval to Construct (ATC) the LPG plant. The validity of the ATC shall be for one (1) year. Construction should commence no later than one (1) year after the grant of ATC.

Step 3:

Upon receiving the grant of Approval to Construct (ATC), the Applicant must ensure that the following conditions are met before commencing construction of the Gas plant. They are:

  1. Liquefied Petroleum Gas must be stored under pressure in vessels designed to withstand safely the vapour pressure at maximum temperature. Construction of such vessels must be to an acceptable design code such as:

  2. The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) approved specification for Pressure Vessels and Liquefied Petroleum Gas containers,

  3. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) boiler and pressure for use in the chemical, petroleum and allied construction, test and certification,

  4. The American Petroleum Institute standard for design and construction of LPG Installations (API Standard 2510),

  5. The National Fire Protection Association Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (NFPA 58),

  6. The British Standards (BS) 1500 PART 1, fusion welded pressure vessels for use in the chemical, petroleum and allied Industries PR BS15500 for new vessels design, construction, test and certification.

  1. The installation/construction of piping, instruments and the plant must be carried out by a DPR accredited Company;

  2. Milestone Construction activities should be witnessed by DPR assigned officers;

  3. Water should be used in testing the LPG tank (hydrotest) and Inert gas should be used for piping’s integrity test during pre-commissioning before introduction of hydrocarbon;

  4. The materials used for the construction of the filling shed must be of nonflammable materials; and

  5. The filling shed must be open-sided for good ventilation.

Step 4:

On completion of construction works, the applicant shall notify the nearest DPR office and certain statutory/technical requirements shall be met or provided to facilitate a pre-license inspection of the plant.


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LPG BOTTLING PLANT

If the plant is built according to the approved diagrams and the officers of the Department of Petroleum Resources are satisfied with the safety arrangement of the plant, Management will consider the grant of LPG plant operating license to the deserving company

RENEWAL OF LICENSE

Upon expiration of an existing LPG plant operating license, the Applicant shall apply to the nearest DPR office for renewal. The application for renewal shall be accompanied by a copy of the expired license, renewed fire safety certificate and the other documents (stated above) submitted during the initial application.

DPR officers will conduct a license renewal inspection of the plant and auxiliary equipment. When all the requirements are satisfactorily met, the management shall grant a license renewal to the applicant for operation.

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