The Energy Ministry is reviewing a new draft Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) policy to provide direction on marketing and distribution of LPG in a safe and efficient manner to enhance access nationwide.
Mr Boakye Agyarko, the Energy Minister, who announced this, expressed the hope that new marketing and distribution structure would curtail some of the safety related incidents that had caused loss of life in recent times.
Mr Boakye Agyarko made this known in Accra at the luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce (Ghana).
The American Chamber of Commerce (Ghana) is a voluntary association of professional and business people, working to create an environment where business can thrive between Ghanaian and American communities.
The Chamber exists to promote commercial, economic, educational and cultural ties between the United States and Ghana, and to advance the general welfare and prosperity of the citizens of Ghana.
Mr Boakye Agyarko said with regard to commercialisation of gas, the Ministry had developed a comprehensive implementation plan for the Gas Master Plan which focuses on infrastructure development.
He mentioned that key among the plan was the West African Gas pipeline (WAGP) Reverse Flow project and the onshore Receiving Facility for conditioning of OCTP gas.
Others are; Train Three Gas compressor to ensure flow to Tema, dedicated onshore gas pipeline from Takoradi to Tema and the expansion of the Ghana Gas’ Processing Plant.
The rest are; the creation of natural gas secondary distribution network within the Tema industrial area, piloting of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for public transportation and the establishment of gas-driven ceramic industry.
Mr Boakye Agyarko noted that to ensure a predictable environment and certainty in decision-making which were vital for attracting investments into the sector, the Ministry had initiated a number of measures such as harmonising the institutional and regulatory roles and mandates of sector agencies for optimal performance.
He mentioned intensifying development of regulations and guidelines to support Petroleum Act 919 and the continuous development of a transparent and predictable legal and regulatory regime to provide assurance and security of tenure for investors as well as prudent management of oil and gas resources in the country.
He said there would be strict adherence to the Petroleum Act 919 in the award of petroleum block for exploration.
On the downstream sub-sector Mr Boakye Agyarko said the main issue government had been faced with in recent times in the downstream sub sector had been the illicit trade of petroleum products.
He said products meant for re-export, which did not have taxes imposed on them were dumped and sold in the country.
He said the Economic Management Team (EMT) had arrived on a number of interim measures to help address the challenge.
According to the Minister, these interim actions were the designation of the Bolgatanga Depot as the sole export depot for the Northern Sector and Tema Depot as the sole export depot for the Southern Sector and the installation of tracking devices on trucks loading and transporting petroleum for export.
Others were; the introduction of refundable administrative fees on products marked for export to make it uneconomic to discharge them locally and refunds made only upon the submission of evidence of discharge at the appropriate destination, evidence of which must be obtained in collaboration with the destination country’s authorities.
The rest are; making a hub for refined petroleum products in the sub-region by 2030, and reducing sulphur content in diesel from 3000 parts per million (ppm) to 50 ppm by next month.
On the illicit importation of fuel, the Minister said by EMT Leadership, National Petroleum Authority (NPA) was directed to fully investigate and impose the necessary sanctions, not excluding, if necessary, withdrawal of licenses on the parties involved in the illegality.
Mr Boakye Agrarko said the Ministry had subsequently communicated the interim actions as policy directives to the NPA to implement with immediate effect.