Business News of Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Source: The Daily Post
Unless some retailers decide to play politics with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as Ghanaians head for the polls and later the Christmas season, the product should be in abundant supply thanks to the collaborative efforts of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) the Ministry of Energy and Fuel Trade, a bulk distribution company which led to the discharge of 1,800 metric tonnes of LPG on sunday.
The delivery was done through the “Ship to Bulk Vehicle Transfer” an arrangement where LPG is discharged from the ship directly into BRVs.
It will be recalled that about a month ago, to ease the shortage of LPG, the three bodies announced the introduction of the new system which is a temporal arrangement to add another facility to that of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and is expected to add more (400 Metric Tonnes) of LPG a day unto the markets of the Western and Central regions in addition to the already 1,000 to 1,200 metric tonnes a day nationwide.
After some initial hitches, the project took off with a test run from Thursday, November 1 to Saturday, November 3, 2012 with 1,200 metric tonnes. This is anticipated to serve the western and central regions, with the success of the test run, a consignment of 1,200metric tones was scheduled to arrive in Takoradi every week to serve the Western and Central regions. This week, about 1,800 metric tones has been discharged.
This is going to continue until government is able to put into use the two facilities at Tema that is the Redfins’ floating barge and Fuel Trade’s storage and loading gantry next year.
The peculiar nature of Ghana’s LPG supply cycle is such that a disruption of two (2) days to the cycles causes shortages of five to seven days. This is the reason why even though products are being supplied to the market currently, pockets of shortages still exist in some parts of the country.
As part of the remedial measures taken by the NPA to mitigate the shortages and its effects on consumers, NPA has given out licenses to Private firms to resolve the LPG problem.
There are also a number of medium to long term measures in the pipe line. Currently under construction is a 4,000mt capacity tank farm and Gantry that can supply 1000mt a day in Tema by Fuel Trade; this is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2013.
The Ghana Gas Company’s Processing Plant is also expected to come on stream by the third quarter of 2013. When all these initiatives are completed, incidents of LPG shortages would be only a chapter in history books.