The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has indicated it will be converting 510 high risk liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stations into cylinder distribution centers, when the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) comes into full effect.
This, according to the Authority, follows Cabinet’s decision to implement the CRM after the unfortunate LPG explosion incident last year at Atomic Junction, near Accra.
“What this means…they will no longer be permitted to fill cylinders or autogas when the CRM fully rolls out. Low risk stations will however be considered for autogas refilling centres only with improved standards,” chief executive officer of NPA, Alhassan Tampuli, said.
He was speaking at the signing ceremony of the 2019 safety declaration by oil marketing companies, under the theme, ‘People Safety First.’
The signing of the declaration by chief executives of oil marketing companies at the start of the year forms part of key activities of the petroleum safety campaign launched in October 2017.
The campaign is intended to raise awareness on adhering to safety protocols in the petroleum downstream industry, and educating the public on their role in preventing fires at all petroleum installations and other locations in the country.
According to Mr Tampuli, the gas explosions at Atomic junction and Krofrom were due in part to either unavoidable accidents or negligence on the part of the handlers of the equipment and installations.
“These accidents have necessitated the rolling out of an intensified inspection and monitoring activities by the Authority to ensure health, safety, security and environment standards are strictly adhered to,” he added.
The NPA boss further noted that it would be operationalizing its centre of excellence this year to among others provide capacity building for various operators in the industry to enhance their skills and knowledge in the safe handling of petroleum products.
Deputy Minister of Energy, responsible for finance and infrastructure, Joseph Cudjoe, expressed satisfaction at the work being done by the NPA to ensure industry players under their watch adhere to safety procedures.
“A safety conscious sector gives the consumer confidence, thereby driving growth and efficiency” he indicated.
He urged industry players to take the bold step of adhering to industry safety standards through industry associations and peer review and where necessary expose their peers who are not keeping up with the industry standards.
“This will not only complement the role of our regulators but will embolden them to take decisive disciplinary actions against offending industry players based on industry recommendations,” he added.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri