By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has allayed public fears of the proposed implementation of Cylinder Re-circulation Model which is expected to take effect from early next year.
There were fears of high cost of purchasing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), strike actions from stakeholders in the industry, job losses, chaos, scammers among others when the policy directive comes into force.
But at a sensitization workshop for the media on petroleum products safety and Cylinder Re-circulation Model of LPG on Thursday in Ho, officials from the NPA assured that various forms of consultation with stakeholders had gone on to ensure such fears of the public were dealt with even before the start of the model.
A representative of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPA who led the delegation, Mr. Samuel Asare-Bediako in response to concerns raised from the participants said the model would rather offer more benefits to the citizenry.
Mr. Asare-Bediako mentioned among others, safety of the public whereby incidents of defective gas cylinders leading to explosion and consequently loss of human lives and properties will be drastically reduced if not eliminated.
Although he admitted there will be a raise in the price, he stressed that it will not be high to discourage people from using LPG because one of the motives for implementing the model was to encourage its use to reduce the dependency on firewood to help protect the environment.
He further said though there will be 400 direct job losses, there will be an estimated 4,500 new jobs created as a result of the new policy.
Mr. Asare-Bediako disclosed that progress has been made to ensure a smooth roll-out of the policy. He mentioned plans for bottling plant that will receive empty cylinders for refilling and re-circulation.
For the explanation of how the new model will work, the LPG Bulk Distribution Company (LBDC) will either import or buy the LPG from local refineries or/and gas processing plant, such as Tema Oil Refinery and Ghana National Gas Company, and store the LPG in its Bulk Storage facility.
The LBDC will then sell the LPG in bulk to either the Bottling Plant for the sole purpose of filling the empty cylinders or to the LPG Marketing Companies (LMCs) for bulk sale to industrial end-users – factories, restaurant, and mini-power plants and also to auto gas users.
The LPG Bottling Plant Company will be responsible for filling the empty cylinders for onward distribution to LPG Marketing Companies (LMCs) who in turn, will be procuring, branding, and maintaining the cylinders.
The President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo on the advice of Cabinet on October 12, 2017 directed that the Cylinder Re-circulation Model of LPG distribution be implemented. This directive was informed by the Flood and Fire Disaster on June 3 that claimed over 150 lives in Accra coupled with the infamous Atomic Junction Gas Explosion which claimed at least 7 lives, leaving about 134 persons with various degrees of injuries.
Aide to the CEO and Head of Research, Mrs. Sheila Abiemo said when the model takes effect, consumers desiring to purchase LPG will produce their empty cylinders at retail stations or exchange points in exchange for filled ones.
She adding that those who may be first time users of LPG may go there and depending on the marketing strategy of a particular LMC, be made to deposit a sum amount as deposit for the cylinder bottle to take home a filled one.
She clarified that there will be a transition period where both distribution models will be implemented side by side, till the time the old model is phased out suggesting cylinders will no longer be owned by consumers making it easy for defective cylinders to be identified early for maintenance hence lowering the risk of gas explosions.