Business News of Sunday, 24 December 2017
The Chamber of Petroleum consumers (COPEC) has expressed skepticism over the safety of Ghanaians after the rolling out of the cylinder re-circulation module that is expected to start in the country soon.
Speaking on the Morning Xpress after a consensus was reached between government and LPG marketers to include them on a new re-circulation module, the Chamber’s Executive Director, Duncan Amoah, noted that the new model cannot solve all the safety problems that come with LPG retailing advocating for the new model to be ran alongside the old system.
“The Re-circulation programme in itself is not the panacea to our problems that others would want to make us believe. There are challenges; structural, operational and sometimes the way and manner we handle the product even in domestic space,” he said, mentioning that the chamber’s findings suggest that the kicking off of the Cylinder Re-circulation Model of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distribution will have some setbacks in terms of smooth delivery to Ghanaians hence attention should be given to the LPG marketers to contribute to the success of the programme.
The new module was proposed by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and suggested that LPG Bottling Plants will be sited away from highly populated areas to plant, maintain and fill empty cylinders to be distributed to consumers through retail outlets.
But Mr Amoah contended the module will come at a cost per kilogram which government will cast on the consumer after refill plants are established and the re-circulation commences.
“One would expect more to be done before the conclusion of rolling out of the re-circulation module. As we speak, you would need about 2 to 3 million gas cylinder bottles to be able to carry out the re-circulation programme aside the refill plant that we intend to put out across the country. What again is of concern is the amount of investment needed. You’d agree that for about 1 million LPG bottles, you will need not less than 160 million Ghana cedis to be able to get them so for 3million bottles, we are talking of some huge figures and clearly that should be a cause for concern,” he said.
He maintained also that the refill plants that are expected to be built will not solve health and safety challenges that preceded the Atomic Junction incident because “human settlements will catch up with them” for commercial purposes hence the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) should insist on safety precautions while the old system is used.