NPA engages various stakeholders in Takoradi on Cylinder Recirculation Model

By
Mildred Siabi-Mensah/Regina Quaicoe, GNA

Takoradi, July 18, GNA – Participants at a
day’s stakeholders engagement on the ‘Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM)’ being
implemented by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) have lauded the
introduction of the concept to make LPG usage more safer in communities and
ensure a  more protected environment.

The participants also called for the
availability of the fibre glass cylinders as against the steel ones, modern
tubes and regulators to accompany the new cylinders to be distributed by the
NPA.

One participants said, “this is a good
policy, I have experienced this in Ivory Coast where any size of cylinder is
filled for as low as any amount”.

They also called for closer access to
communities to enhance accessibility.

Some suggested that the CRM should not be
used as a political tool but rather be given legislative backing to ensure that
no government threw away such a laudable concept.

Mr Alhassan S.Tampuli, the Chief Executive
Officer of the NPA at the stakeholders engagement said so far, 37,000 cylinders
had been procured by the Authority to undertake the initial phase of the
project.

The goal of the policy was to ensure that 50
per cent of Ghanaians had access to safe, clean and environmentally friendly
LPG for increased domestic, commercial and industrial usage by 2030.

The CRM would work at ensuring that
consumers got the LPG products at specialized retail outlets after the Cylinder
recall exercise by the NPA.

Mr. Tampuli pointed out that the relevant
licenses accompanied with structured safety protocols were to be maintained by
marketers and distributors who would be franchised by the NPA.

The National LPG promotion policy seeks to
provide direction on marketing and distribution of LPG in a safe and efficient
manner whiles ensuring increased access of the commodity.

The Chief Executive Officer of NPA said the
company by the step taken hoped to develop a market driven structure to ensure
safety, enhance capacity of existing regulators and ensure the existence of
robust and standard health, safety and environmental practices in the
production, marketing and consumption of LPG.

The new value chain, under the CRM would
begin with imports and production, bulk storage, bulk transportation, automated
bottling, bottle transportation, retail and users as against the old status of
main suppliers, refining and gas processing , storage, transport and retail
outlets bulk customer.

The move would provide over 4,500 direct
jobs to interested individuals and companies wishing to be part of the LPG
value chain.

“In addition to the above jobs created,
the NPA will recruit a little over 200 safety auditors throughout the country
as well as resource its newly established health and safety security and
environmental department to ensure that all safety measures were adhered
to” , he added.

Mr. Gabriel Kumi, Vice Chairman of the LPG
Marketers Association said the initiative, though laudable, could only be
successful if the government removed most of the taxes on the product to enable
the ordinary Ghanaian to afford it.

He said price hikes, as a result of taxes,
had in the past and continue to contribute to the low patronage of the
community among rural folks, adding that, “data for the first quarter of
2019 reveal a more worrying user trend…people still prefer their charcoal to
LPG due to high prices”.

Mr. Kumi entreated government to turn its
attention to the teething challenge to achieve the 50 per cent target by 2030.

Mr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western
Regional Minister said the introduction of the model could contribute to a
significant reduction in Petroleum related fires and accidents that had caused
some families many woes.

“We endorse the NPAs effort to change
the mode of LPG distribution and consumption in the country…it is also
gratifying to know that, steps have been taken to consolidate the activities in
the LPG value chain with the view to reduce health, safety, security and
environmental risks “.

GNA

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