The National LPG Policy Implementation Committee of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is raising alarm on a dangerous phenomenon that it warns is a serious disaster waiting to happen.
According to the Committee, there are serious violation of all safety norms associated with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder usage by consumers of both auto and cooking gas cylinders.
These include transporting cooking gas cylinders in a horizontal manner after refill while auto gas cylinders had fabrications with electrical wiring around them besides cylinders being rusty and needed coat of paint to prevent corrosion.
The Committee raised the red flags after a familiarization visit to LPG outlets in Obuasi and its environs where it observed the trend.
Though the Committee’s observation was made in Obuasi in particular, the various violations observed pertains in almost all regions, cities and towns where LPG is a source of fuel.
The visit to Obuasi was to touch base with chiefs and opinion leaders of the Adansi Traditional Council on the planned piloting of Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) in Obuasi.
Chief Executive of NPA, Hassan Tampuli who led the team, in his address to the media, warned that the filled cylinder when placed horizontally could release its content, which could cause explosion when in contact with any source of fire.
“If LPG is not stored or used correctly, it can be extremely dangerous. A single mistake in mishandling LPG cylinders can be fatal, so be careful! You can be roasted alive,” he warned.
Mr. Tampuli indicated that the implementation of the CRM by the government will ensure public safety, adding, “There has been need for the introduction of the policy owing to dangers the existing policy exposes people to.”
“We want to be able to deliver a model that suits our modern agenda, an arrangement that will be enduring to allay the fears of the challenges we have had in the past.”
Under the CRM, the LPG bottling plants will procure, brand, maintain and fill empty gas cylinders to be distributed to consumers and households through retail outlets, which means all defects on cylinders would be corrected before reuse.
In a related development, the LPG Implementation Committee met the Adansi Traditional Council to discuss the CRM pilot initiative expected to be implemented in October 2019.
At the briefing, Mr. Tampuli said the primary objective for the policy initiative is to essentially deal with health, safety and security issues.
Responding to a question on why the choice of Obuasi, Mr Tampuli said it was as a result of good control and traceability of cylinders, active refilling outlets with consistent LPG sales over the last six months and multiplicity of LPG Marketing Companies (LPGMCs).
The Queen Mother of Adansi Traditional Council, Nana Amoanimaa II commended the NPA for the choice of Obuasi for its pilot programme.
She asserted that LPG consumption in the area is on the rise as a result of environmental degradation caused by mining in the area.
According to her, the use of charcoal for cooking in the area has reduced, which would inadvertently cause LPG consumption to rise.