Two professional bodies, the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA) and the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE), are to conduct independent audits into the investigative report on the gas explosion at Damasu Gas Limited, opposite Trade Fair Centre at La in Accra.
The move follows the release of the investigative report on the gas explosion that claimed 12 lives. Excerpts of the report were made public in a joint statement issued by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and was carried inthe Wednesday, January 11 issue of the Daily Graphic.
In the statement, the three regulatory bodies indicated that preliminary investigations suggested that, “The gas explosion emanated from a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Bulk Road Vehicle (BRV) that had been stationed at the gas refilling plant to discharge the product into the storage vessel at the station.” The statement further indicated that a committee had been set up to do a detailed investigation to ascertain the cause of the disaster for prompt action.
However, in a release issued in Accra yesterday, the GIA and GhIE said they would undertake a comprehensive overview of the status of inspections that had been carried out by the regulatory bodies before the gas explosion.
“We will look into the records of mandatory periodic inspections and annual certification on all gas installations and service delivery procedures performed by the Energy Commission and the NPA. “By our action, we will also look for a list of all emergencies and disasters that have occurred and resulting investigations carried out, if any, as well as mitigating measures instituted further to each disaster,” the statement said.
The GIA also observed that it was important for the regulatory bodies to step up efforts to bring sanity to operating gas refilling stations, as required of them, rather than wait to act on investigative reports.
“The GIA Council reiterates that if, as a nation, we are unable to efficiently institute and handle the critical requirements and responsibilities necessary in the use of LPG, then we must desist of its use,” the statement added.
Mr Joseph E. Hayfond, Mr Ing Dr Kwame Boakye
By law, the Energy Commission and the NPA are required to advise on the efficient, economical and safe supply of natural gas and petroleum products, receive and assess applications and issue licences to public utilities for the transmission, wholesale supply, distribution and sale of natural gas. It is also required to establish and enforce, in consultation with the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), standards of performance for public utilities engaged in the transmission, wholesale supply, distribution and sale of natural gas.
The law also mandates the two bodies to promote and ensure uniform rules of practice for the transmission, wholesale supply, distribution and sale of natural gas.
Following the gas explosion that claimed some 12 lives at La in Accra recently, the GNFS embarked on an exercise to clamp down on some gas refilling stations that had been operating under conditions that are believed to be dangerous to lives and property. Two of such facilities were closed down at Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region.