Gas retailers’ fumes at Gov’t new policy

Following the close down of 50 Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) retail points across the country and other new polices introduce to regulate the business by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) as part of efforts to avert the increasing gas explosions in the country has irritated the LP Gas retailers in the country.

The 50 retail points were among 479 stations inspected and monitored by the NPA which were found to be operating below the required safety standards.

 

There are about 600 LPG retail points across the country. But, the NPA says 27 more are likely to be shut down.

 

Also, according to the new policy on gas retailing, LPG Bottling Plants will be sited away from congested commercial and populated centres and will procure, brand, maintain and fill empty cylinders to be distributed to consumers and households through retail outlets.

However, the LPG marketing companies fear the new policy will phase them out of the value chain.

Members of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Marketing Companies Association are requesting calling on the government to relook at its decision against its members.

Mr. Gabby Kumi, vice president of the association speaking on Accra base radio said, “We are seeking audience to press our concerns. They have brought a value chain through which they are going to distribute LPG to the consumer under the new LPG policy. Unfortunately, the value chain does not feature the LPG marketing companies and the LPG retailers.

“Our role have been completely wiped out from the value chain and we feel that was unfair, we feel that was very illogical because if you have players already in an industry and you are just developing a new policy for the industry, the most logical thing to do is to automatically migrate us who are already in the industry into the new value chain that you are proposing but this was not done.

Our role has been completely taken off the value chain, so they are projecting this new value chain as if it was a new industry but this is not a new industry.”

Meanwhile, the National Petroleum Authority has again directed that, the maximum storage capacity a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) station can have is 20 tonnes. This follows the tough stance taken by Cabinet to forestall the deadly gas explosions the nation is becoming ill-reputed for.

Appearing before parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, CEO of the NPA Alhassan Tampuli said gas stations that flout the directive will be sanctioned or closed down.

Any station that stores gas beyond 20 tonnes will be classified as ‘high-risk’ he said, warning dealers to take note.

He also added that gas stations that operate less than 20 tonnes will be used for auto-gas, which means vehicles that use gas can refill at those stations.

Following the gas explosion at Atomic Junction in Accra on October 7, 2017, Cabinet gave the NPA a nine-point directive to implement in a bid to help prevent more explosions.

Cabinet directed the NPA to among other things undertake rigorous inspections of gas stations across the country, and to review the current licensing regime to ensure that only dealers with demonstrable capacity, competence and vision are allowed to operate.

The NPA boss also disclosed that the much-talked-about Cylinder Recirculation Model of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distribution will be introduced in 2019.

This model means that LPG bottling plants will be sited away from congested commercial and population centres; and will procure, brand, maintain and fill empty cylinders to be distributed to consumers and households through retail outlets. Low risk stations will be designated for the supply of gas to vehicles.

Story: Adnan Adams Mohammed

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