The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has disclosed that 77.4% of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) stations in the country do not meet safety standards.
This was confirmed after a recent risk assessment exercise was conducted by the authority, following the several LPG-related explosions in the country, the most fatal being the Atomic Junction explosion, in Accra.
The exercise, according to Hassan Tampuli, Chief Executive of the NPA, took into consideration the siting, engineering, equipment conditions, safety management systems, staff and facility management, materials and fabrication of the LPG stations.
He emphasized that, “510 out of the 659, translating to 77.4 percent of LPG stations inspected nationwide, were classified as high risk stations, 115 as medium risk stations and the remaining 34 stations recorded as low risk.”
Mr. Tampoli was speaking at the official launch of the 2019 “People Safety First” campaign, held in Accra yesterday.
The campaign is an initiative by the NPA to raise awareness for safety protocols in the petroleum sector,
Though the figures are disturbing, he said the authority is working assiduously to intensify its monitoring and inspection mechanisms in other to avert impending explosions in future.
“These high risk stations will subsequently be converted into cylinder distribution centres under the Cylinder Recirculation Model. They will no longer be permitted to fill cylinders or auto gas when the CRM fully rolls out,” he said.
It has been two years since the NPA embarked on the “People Safety First” campaign to educate the public on their role in preventing fires at petroleum installations and other locations in the country.
As part of the campaign, Chief Executives of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and other participants are allowed to sign a Safety Declaration Placard at the start of each year.
The authority is also using various media outlets to educate the public on safe ways of handling petroleum products to curb injuries and deaths from LPG, Petrol, Premix and other petroleum related fires, and has urged the public to adhere to the safety precautions being propagated.
“The NPA as the Regulator of the petroleum downstream industry expects that the public understands the risks and dangers of not using petroleum products safely and discouraging any unconventional use of the products without seeking expert advice,” Mr. Tampoli said.
He encouraged participants at the launch to remain committed to the task of working hard to ensure that safety becomes the tie that binds the collective interest for a safer, secure and explosion free sector.
Present at the launch was the Deputy Minister of Energy (Finance and Infrastructure), Mr. Joseph Cudjoe.
By Grace Ablewor Sogbey