Takoradi residents laud the introduction of Cylinder Re-circulation Model

gas cylinder

Participants at a day’s stakeholder’s 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 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 stakeholder’s engagement held in Takoradi for the people of Western region 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 “.

Source: Samuel Dowuona