By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A multi-million-Naira laboratory for the analysis of petroleum products to ascertain their quality has been commissioned in Imo State by federal government.
The facility was opened for public use last Wednesday by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and is equipped with Vapour Pressure Texter, Closed Flashpoint tester for gas inlet, Lovibonid, and Sulphur Meter for sample testing, refrigerator to retain volatile samples before the tests are carried out, and distil water for reagents, aside others.
Director of DPR, Mr Ahmed Shakur, who was represented at the commissioning by Mr Peter Ijeh, the Zonal Operations Controller of DPR South East, said the laboratory was an answer to request by government agencies and individuals to test petroleum products suspected to be adulterated in the zone.
According to him, before now, a lab in Port Harcourt and some third party laboratories were relied on to analyse petroleum products in the region, but with the support and partnership of stakeholders, the new facility will make things easier.
“This laboratory is a significant achievement for Owerri Zone and a testament to the success which are positive through public/private partnership.
“It is a mini laboratory, but I assure you that great and formidable results will come out of it as we commence operations.
“The commissioning holds a lot of promises of better things to come for Owerri and other eastern states,” he said.
Mr Shakar warned that any marketer caught with adulterated petroleum product would face the full wrath of the law as stipulated and depending on the level of adulteration, might have his product seized or discharged, assuring motorists and marketers in the zone that with the laboratory in place, the issue of determining product quality would be realised and in a good record time.
He urged marketers, individuals, motorists and consumers of petroleum products to report any case of adulteration to the department for possible sanction and prosecution.
Mrs Nwando Awiaka, Chief Environment Officer and Team Head, Quality Control and Analysis DPR, Lagos Laboratory Services, who represented the DPR management Lagos, expressed delight at the commissioning of the project in the zone.
She said that management was keen at ensuring that DPR laboratory was established across the nation adding that the agency currently had six laboratries situated in Warri, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Abuja and now in Owerri.
According to her, more laboratories would soon be inaugurated in Kano and Calabar.
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