The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has urged the public to embrace the cylinder recirculation model (CRM) policy to ensure safety and increase access to LPG to 50 percent by 2030.
He said the policy would ensure the existence of robust and standard health, safety and environmental practices in the production, marketing and consumption of LPG.
“What we need to know is that the CRM is here to curb our fear of gas being filled close to our homes,” he said.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid made the call on Friday at the launch of the Consumer Week Celebration in Takoradi in the Western Region on the theme ‘LPG: Clean Cooking, Healthy Lifestyle’.
The Consumer Week Celebration is observed each year by the National Petroleum Authority as part of the Global Consumer Service Week celebration to educate the public on their rights and responsibilities and how to safely use petroleum products.
The NPA Boss said LPG is a cleaner burning fuel that provides smoke-free indoor cooking and helps to reduce outdoor and urban air pollution.
“LPG produces 50 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal, 20 percent less CO2 than heating oil, and 10-12 percent less CO2 than petrol. Gas (LPG) has been accepted as the most dependable transition fuel, especially in our homes. It provides health, environmental and economic benefits, especially to our households,” he said.
Unfortunately, Dr. Abdul-Hamid said LPG uptake in the country was low, currently around 37 percent, and needed to be actively promoted.
That, he said, implied that a lot more of the consuming public continuously resort to the age-old charcoal or wood fuel method of cooking despite the enormous benefits of LPG as compared to wood fuel.
“We also need to commence action on addressing alternative livelihood for families that depend on the charcoal business for their livelihood to curb the onslaught on the already depleting forest cover”, he said.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid said the issue of safety had been high on the agenda of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government, and that had culminated in the introduction and implementation of the CRM.
He noted that the LPG-related accidents in homes were due to a lack of adherence to LPG safety precautions.
He said the NPA was equally concerned about these incidents, hence, the intensification of its public education on the safe use and handling of LPG.
The NPA Boss urged bulk storage haulage, retailing and domestic handlers of LPG to observe the LPG safety rules to reduce or possibly eliminate the accidents.
In his speech, a Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr. Andrew Egypa Mercer, said the timing of the promotional and sensitisation drive was significant, given the current debate about climate change with its associated environmental and health effects.
He said Ghana needed to play a leading role in discouraging any activity that hurts the environment, and affirmed the resolve of the Ministry of Energy to support the NPA and other allied institutions to save the environment.
The Western Regional Minister, Dr. Okyere Darko Mensah, urged the public to avoid complacency and familiarity but uphold the safety rules in dealing with LPG and all petroleum-related products.
NPA to begin bitumen regulation in Jan 2024
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is set to commence the regulation of the importation, storage, processing and marketing of bitumen in the country effective January 2024.
The new regulatory framework, which will have inputs from the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA), and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), seeks to streamline the bitumen supply chain and to ensure compliance with National quality standards.
The new framework spells out who qualifies to obtain a license, the National standards for Bitumen and guidelines to follow for the supply of the product among other things.
Director of Economic Regulation and Planning at NPA, Mrs. Alpha Welbeck, who made the disclosure at a media briefing in Accra, urged industry players to use the remaining period of 2023 to regularize their operations with the Authority.
“Existing bitumen facilities and new entrants will have to acquire a license before they will be allowed to operate in the industry beginning 2024” she emphasized.
The bitumen industry possesses enormous potential to contribute to the growth and development of the economy due to its use in road construction.
Although bitumen is a petroleum product, little has been done in terms of monitoring and regulating the product compared to the other petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, LPG etc.
By way of background, in 2014, a study was carried out to ascertain the supply chain practices and to obtain some baseline information of happenings in the bitumen industry.
Following the study, the NPA together with stakeholders such as the GHA, GRA – Customs Division, GSA and some existing players, have collaborated in the development of guidelines for the supply of Bitumen, culminating into a new regulatory framework set to be implemented in January 2024.
A public notice is set to be issued on the requirements for obtaining a license in the coming weeks to enable existing players and new entrants alike to take the necessary steps in regularizing their operations ahead of the 2024 deadline.