I think there are lots of misconceptions about the cooking gas, usually called the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). If you grew up in a family like mine; you will never have anything to do with cooking gas. You see, when I was growing up; I was told some many wrong things about cooking gas. I was made to believe that cooking gas was very dangerous and expensive; so, it was a no-go area for me. Why in the real sense, it is more expensive to cook with kerosene than the cooking gas.
However, I used to think all other sources of energy were safe aside from the almighty cooking gas. Some of which are; sawdust (using the Abasher stove), firewood, charcoal, kerosene and electric cooker. Maybe, because I was not from a rich family or because my parents were not that enlightened.
One day, I visited a friend, and was surprised she was cooking with gas. Ordinarily, I would have thought she was rich, if not because she was a friend; so, I asked, why using cooking gas? Then, she told me something that changed my orientation forever. You see, most of us have been misinformed on the subject matter. As a matter of fact, it is safer and cheaper to cook with gas when compared to cooking with kerosene, which is used by more than 70% of Nigerians. Luckily, there is a huge level of awareness going on about the importance and safety of using the cooking gas.
Advantages Of Using Cooking Gas
- It cooks faster: This is very fast in cooking when compared to using firewood, charcoal, or kerosene.
- It does not emit smoke: Using cooking gas eradicates the presence of smoke, which is highly present using firewood, charcoal, and kerosene.
- It is safe: Yes, it is very safe, when all safety precautions are followed.
- It is cheap: To be honest, it may appear that using cooking gas is expensive but in the real sense, it is the cheapest, if you compare the health safety and time of duration. Now are days; you can even buy 200-naira worth of cooking gas!
- It is readily available: Yes, if you have been in this country for a long time; you will understand there is no year without scarcity of kerosene, which is not common with the cooking gas.
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I must admit now that, there is a huge market demand for this gas refilling business. It may surprise you that Lagos state consumes about 40% of the LPG; the highest consumers in the country so far, while other states account for 60% usage. Annual consumption of cooking gas is put at 300 million KG. Most filling station now sale gas, while smart individuals like you and I are busy clearing land for cooking gas refill business. The truth is that, if you look too well, you will see someone already selling cooking gas in a small scale in your street or area.
The Cooking Gas Refill Business Model
Recently, I made a market research of how this business is run and managed, which I will share with you today. You see, the business model is simple; you buy the cooking gas in large quantities, and store them in a tank or tanks. Then, sell to individuals in small or smaller quantities.
Cooking Gas Business Safety Guide
- Don’t put the cooking gas cylinder on a bare floor; instead, place it on a plank – pelleted wood.
- Make sure you place the gas cylinder in a vertical direction except it is otherwise stated by the manufacturers.
- Make sure there are spaces between the cylinders; so they don’t have contact with another.
- Make sure the cylinder valves are tightly closed in other to avoid leakage.
- Make sure the cooking gas cylinder is well positioned to avoid toppling.
- Make sure your shop is well ventilated to avoid an explosion.
- Make sure you don’t use a candle, matches or lighter in your shop; whether there is gas leakage or not. Stay away from anything that can spark light.
- Make sure you protect the valve with a valve cap to prevent damage whenever the cylinder is dropped.
- Make sure you do not drag or roll the cooking gas cylinder when loading or unloading.
- Make sure your cell phone is not close to the cooking gas cylinder.
- Make sure the hose is well clipped, to avoid gas leakages.
- Make sure you are very attentive to sound, and sensitive to smell; so, that you can detect gas leakage earlier.
What You Need To Start A Cooking Gas Refiling Business
- A shop
- BIG cylinder (25kg) or cylinders
- Two or more small cylinders
- A hose
- A digital scale
- A cylinder valve or valves
- Two or more planks, depending on the number of BIG cylinder you decide to use
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How To Measure The Cooking Gas
Cooking gas can be measured in liters, kilogram or tons. That is why it’s important you understand how the measurements are being done. Here is the standard conversion used in the cooking gas refill business:
- 1kg = 1.75 liters
- 1Ton = 1,750 liters
Sizes Of Common Cooking Gas Cylinders
Cooking gas cylinder are in different deigns and sizes. Here they are in descending orders:
How To Refill A Customer’s Cylinder
There are basically two ways to do this;
- Using the Pneumatic Dispensing System: This is usually done by placing the cylinder on a digital scale, and taking the readings. The, the required quantity is filled into the cylinder. For example: If someone brings a 6kg cooking gas cylinder to refill. You will take the cylinder and place it on the digital scale, then take the reading. Sometimes, the empty cylinder may read 3.75kg, which mean you will need to stop filling the gas once the cylinder weights 9.75kg. 1.e empty cylinder weight 3.75kg + 6kg of cooking gas = 9.75kg
- Using the Automatic Filling System: This is usually used by the filling stations; I believe it should be expensive. To do this, you just have insert the nozzle into the cylinder, and press the exact quantity required, either in kg or liters. So, when it gets to the exact set quantity it will stop dispersing the cooking gas. Just like the experience you have when you refill your car in a petrol station, where an automatic filling system is used.
Where To Buy The Cooking Gas In Large Quantities?
There are so many places to buy cooking gas in Lagos. You can buy in large quantity from the numerous cooking gas station available in the state or you buy from a petrol station. Remember, you are doing the business in a small scale.
Where Is The Best Location For This Business?
I don’t like doing this, but I will for the sake of God. Lol
You see, if you want to start this business; make sure you are situated in a place where there is no ELECTRICITY. This is very important, if you are located where there is light, you will definitely fold up, because people will be using electric hot plates instead of gas.
Another place to consider is an estate or government reserve areas (GRA).
I hope this helps someone today.
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