NPA to issue licences to gas bottling plants July

BY: Mabel Aku Baneseh, ACCRA
Mr Alhassan Tampuli, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority, addressing members of the council.
Mr Alhassan Tampuli, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority, addressing members of the council.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) will from next month, July 2018, begin issuing licences to companies which seek to set up bottling plants for the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM).

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPA, Mr Alhassan Tampuli, 18 companies have so far put in applications to participate in the CRM.

Addressing members of the Council of State in Accra yesterday to explain how the CRM works, Mr Tampuli said all was set for the programme to be rolled out.

The CRM policy seeks to provide direction on marketing and distribution of LPG in a safe and efficient manner and facilitate an increase in access to LPG nationwide.

The government aims to ensure that at least 50 per cent of Ghanaians have access to safe, clean and environmentally friendly LPG for increased domestic, commercial and industrial usage by 2030.


The objectives of the model include the development of a market-driven structure to ensure safety, increased access and adoption of LPG, enhancement of the capacity of existing regulatory institutions in order to meet the regulatory requirements of the new market structure, as well as to ensure the existence of a robust and standard health, safety and environmental practices in the production, marketing and consumption of LPG.

Meeting

Mr Tampuli told members of the Council of State that the various committees set up to oversee the drawing of plans for the implementation of the model had completed their work and had come up with a road map for the CRM.

He said the level of interest expressed in the CRM was impressive and expressed the hope the Council of State would lend its support to the project.

Council of State

The Chairman of the Council of State and Omanehene of the Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, said the Council was ready to help any government agency that sought advice from it.

He wished the NPA well in the implementation of its policy and assured it of the Council of State’s continuous support.

Processes

The proposed new LPG distribution model will begin with the LPG Bulk Distribution Company (LBDC), whose responsibility will be to either import or buy the LPG from local refinery or/and gas processing plant, such as the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and Ghana National Gas Company, and store the LPG in its bulk storage facility.

The LBDC will then sell the LPG in bulk to either the Bottling Plant for the sole purpose of filling the empty cylinders or to the LPG Marketing Companies (LMCs) for bulk sale to industrial end-users — factories, restaurants and mini-power plants — and also to auto gas users.

The LPG Bottling Plant Company will be responsible for filling the empty cylinders for onward distribution to LMCs while the LMCs will be responsible for procuring, branding, and maintaining the cylinders.

Specialised trucks will be used to transport the filled cylinders from the bottling plants to the retail stations or exchange points, where consumers will exchange their empty cylinders for filled ones.

A minimum of 4,000 tonnes capacity storage depot shall be used as the primary receiver of LPG, either from imports or from domestic production, with gantry facilities for discharge into Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs).

According to the NPA, the LPG bottling plant is expected to have a minimum storage capacity of 250 metric tonnes, with an automated bottling plant and a filling capacity of 1,000 cylinders per hour.

The country will be zoned for the siting of the bottling plants. However, the distribution of filled cylinders will not be limited to any particular zone.

Classification

To ensure smooth implementation, LPG refilling plants will be classified into low risk and high risk based on their deficiency in meeting safety standards in a risk assessment of all plants by the NPA.

The high risk refilling stations will be immediately converted into filled cylinder retail and distribution outlets whereas low risk refilling stations will be dedicated to the supply of autogas only, with improved safety standards. Stakeholder consultations on the CRM began in 2014.