The Department of Petroleum Resources DPR has shut down twelve (12) illegal gas plants operating in Rivers State.
Zonal Operations Controller DPR Port Harcourt Zone, Bassey Nkanga, who disclosed this to newsmen shortly after the surveillance operation, said the gas stations were sealed off as a result of no form of approval granted to them, to operate.
According to him, in dealing with gas business safety must be put into consideration first, stressing that gas operators must also meet up all safety requirements.
“We discovered that there are lots of illegalities going on in the gas sector and we now decided to step up. These gas plants are illegal because we have not granted them any form of approval to operate, nor adjusted their sites to be situable for installation of such plants.
“They are illegal, they don’t have a license that is why we shut them down and for us to allow them to operate again, they must follow the procedures, DPR is out to ensure these illegal gas stations meet our safety and health requirements”
Nkanga stressed that roadside gas operators are not left out in the clampdown operation, as DPR is taking an audit of all gas operators across the state.
“Our target too are the roadsides operators and those people who do trans filling because it is illegal to trans fill gas, those roadsides operators are supposed to be operating under license and many of them are not licensed, they just buy gas cylinders and begin to operate. What DPR is doing now is to take an audit of them all, we have our team who are on a daily basis going out trying to audit them.
“So far we have captured over hundreds of roadsides gas operators across the state and we are still on it, what we actually want to achieve is to know where they are operating from and the source of their products. We have also them necessary requirements for their license”
Our reporter Tina Amanda gathered that the areas visited by DPR team for the surveillance operation on illegal gas plants are, Etche, Ikwerre, Ahoada and Portharcourt local government areas.