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General News of Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Gas shortage looms in Ghana as retailers suspend operations nationwide

Shortage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) looms as retailers of the commodity have effectively Wednesday, suspended their operations indefinitely, to allow operators undertake maintenance work at various retail outlets nationwide.

In line with that, transporters of LPG have also suspended their operations, Public Relations officer of the LPG Marketers Association, Bernard KwamenOwiredu, said on Wednesday.

He explained on 3FM’s Sunrise morning show that the action is a preventive measure to avert a possible shutdown of any LPG retail outlet in the country by the National Petroleum Authority.

Mr Owiredu said the decision is in the interest of the public, following the spate of gas explosions in the country with the recent one at Atomic Junction in Accra which caused seven deaths and injured 132 people a week ago.

The Atomic junction disaster caused cabinet to issued a number of directives, including implementation of the gas cylinder re-circulation policy within a year.

According to the LPG Marketers, already authorities of the NPA have started inspections of gas outlets in the country and closed a number of them down for not meeting the required standards.

“Yesterday members of the association met to do some deliberations on cabinet directive concerning our operations, and at the meeting, it came up that most of our outlets are being shut down; closed down by the NPA,” he said.

“Members resolved that if that is the case, we are going to put up a technical committee …to check on the integrity of on the installation and to make sure that everything in terms of safety is in place before we start our operations. Its internal scrutiny and maintenance,” he added.

Mr Owiredu said they were taking steps to avoid a situation where members who fail to meet the standards would have their outlets closed and also fined.

“If we should sit down for the NPA to go about closing our outlets it comes with a fine, it comes with paying re-inspection fee and all that so we thought the best approach is to do the inspection ourselves so that it won’t be as if we don’t take safety issues seriously,” he explained.

On when the when customers should expect a resumption of service, he said he could not tell because the inspection is technical in nature.

He said once the team is done with the checks and satisfied with the integrity of the installation, that outlet will be given the green light to resume operations.

He said: “As soon as they visit an outlet and they are of the view that, in terms of safety, in terms of security and in terms of integrity of the installation you’re good to go they will just give you them the go ahead to operate”.