BY PHILIP ANTOH
Mr Hassan Tampuli, NPA, CEO
THE CHIEF Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mr Hassan S. Tampuli, has said the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM), if fully operated, would make consumers access LPG at as low as GHȼ 10.00.
Mr Tampuli said the product would be common such that any amount a consumer presents at the exchange collection point should be able to buy the product, adding that LPG is measured in kilogrammes and bought with different sizes of cylinders.
According to him, the only way Ghana could save the environment from global warming and ensure safety at homes and workplaces is to ensure at least 50% penetration of access to LPG gas usage across the country.
This, Mr Tampuli said, would ensure that many Ghanaians moved from the current usage of wood fuel, which is having adverse effect on the environment and increase the LPG penetration of current 23% before 2030.
Speaking at a media encounter to educate journalists on the effect of the project to Ghanaians, the CEO said the CRM would not cause any job loss in the process and allayed fears from players in the industry that the system is aimed at collapsing their business.
Mr Tampuli said players in the industry such as the current gas filling stations have to emerge or be converted into an exchange collection point, where consumers would go and exchange their empty cylinders for already filled gas.
Why the model
Mr Tampuli said the nation adopted the model to help save the numerous fire incidents and the number of deaths associated with the old system, which is gradually being used in most African countries.
“It will interest you to know that while filling a gas cylinder for consumers, others around are seen busily speaking or drafting text messages on phone at the same point.
“While cylinders are to be 85% full with the remaining 15% for containing the heat, at certain gas filling stations, ignorantly both attendants and consumers pay extra money to make the cylinder full,” he stated.
In a presentation, the Chief Inspector in charge of Health, Safety and Environment of the NPA, Mrs Esther Anku, said the local usage of LPG in 2017 dropped from 39% in 2016 to 24% while imports increased from 61% in 2016 to 74% in 2017, a situation she attributed to the low performance of the local distributors, Tema Oil Refinery and Ghana Gas.
Mr Anku said the new model would help increase the annual consumption rate of 358, 931mt achieved in 2017 to a higher feat and create lots of employment for the teeming youth.
She added that under the new model, eight bottling plants would be established across the country to ensure that the three northern regions, which have only 3% consumption rate, increase their LPG consumption.
Explaining the production chain, the chief inspector said “the new model will involve an LPG Bulk Distribution Company (BDC), whose priority will be to either import or buy the product from local refineries/gas processing plants into their bulk storage facility.
“The BDC will then sell the bulk LPG to the LPG Bottling processing plants who will be responsible for procuring, branding, and maintaining the cylinders,” he said.