NPA to conduct integrity assessment of underground petroleum storage tanks

By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA 

Accra, Oct. 26, GNA – The National Petroleum
Authority has announced plans to secure the services of a consultant to conduct
integrity assessment of all underground petroleum products storage tanks
including pipelines of retail outlets across the country by next year.

The Authority had also issued directives for
depot operators to ensure that their operations and measuring systems were
compliant with the industry requirements.

It further asked them to automate their
process, which would be integrated into the NPA’s Enterprise Relational
Database Management System (ERDMS).

Those measures formed part of efforts to
improve transportation and safety of petroleum products in the country.

Mr Hassan Tampuli, the Chief Executive Officer
(CEO) of the NPA, made the announcement at a stakeholders’ meeting of petroleum
downstream sector in Accra.

He said the Authority was also reviewing the
Oil Loss Control Manual and copies had been made available for all stakeholders
for use and expected that the manual would improve and ensure accurate
reporting receipts and delivery of petroleum products.

The stakeholders meeting afforded the
opportunity to petroleum downstream players to dialogue, share and exchange
ideas on ensuring effective and efficient management of the sector to promote
economic growth.

It also created a platform for the NPA and
other stakeholders to disseminate industry information, trends and
opportunities to ensure the continuous growth of the downstream sector in
accordance with international best practices.

The event attracted captains of the industry
and representatives of key partners including the Customs Division of the Ghana
Revenue Authority, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited, Chamber
of Oil Distributors Board, Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Ghana
Cylinder Manufacturing Company and Tema Oil Refinery.

The CEO of the NPA said it had outlined plans
to commence the installation of automatic tank gauging systems at all retail
outlets next year and be integrated into the Authority’s Enterprise Relational
Database Management System.

It also intended to commence the installation
of electronic ceiling and tracking devices on bulk road vehicles (BRVs) without
tracking devices and the BRVs would be integrated into the ERDMS.

These measures, Mr Tampuli said would provide
an effective control and monitoring of petroleum products distribution
activities in the downstream sector.

The Authority had also put up a proposal for
the development of new bulk distribution companies (BDCs) licensing
requirements into two categories so that financially distressed BDCs remained
in business and honour various financial obligations to the state.

The CEO of the NPA observed that those
measures were created as a result of Mansco Gas Filling Station explosion that
occurred at the Atomic Junction in Accra last year.

He noted that the Energy Ministry instituted a
number of actions and interventions to ensure safe delivery of petroleum
products at all retail gas and fuel outlets across the country.

Mr Tampuli mentioned the implementation of the
National Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Policy while Cabinet directed the NPA to
roll out the National Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) to ensure that at
least 50 per cent of Ghanaians have access to safe and environmentally friendly
LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial use by the year 2030.

He said it had held stakeholder consultations
with the public, organized groups and institutions and expressed optimism that
the full implementation of the CRM policy would ensure safety in the use of
LPG.

Mr Tampuli said the Authority would continue
to collaborate with other key players in the petroleum downstream sector to
enhance the capacity of persons involved in the handling of petroleum products
including tanker drivers and their mates adhered to safety standards.

“The Authority has strengthened its capacity
to intensify monitoring and inspection mechanisms to ensure safety standards at
the various fuel filling stations to forestall any unforeseen accidents,” he
assured.

He said it had carried out risk assessment of
all re-filling plants across the regions, and classified them as high, medium
or low risk stations depending on the outcome of the assessment.

The Authority, he said, has put in place
several measures to ensure safety in handling petroleum products, noting that
some of them had been introduced while others were yet to be rolled out for
safety standards.

He said the review of the price deregulation
policy in the operations of the petroleum service providers was crucial and
outlined some areas to be reviewed including competition, cost of operation,
service delivery, pricing methodology and business model.

Mr Tampuli said the NPA was collaborating with
the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority and Road Safety Limited to train and
certify drivers, which would lead to additional issuance of licences of drivers
for the pouring of petroleum products in accordance with the Road Traffic
Regulations LI 2180 of 2012.

GNA

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