Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Gas Company, operators of the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, Dr Ben Asante, has asked Ghanaians to be safety conscious when handling liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottles.
Addressing a news conference in Accra on Monday to debunk allegations by the Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Truck Drivers who claimed that gas from Atuabo has an unusual high propane content, which they attributed to the recent spate of gas explosions at filling stations in the country, he disputed claims that gas from Ghana Gas is not odorized, hence cannot be detected early when there is a leakage saying gases do not smell unless they are odorized.
“Ghanaians must adopt an attitudinal change when it comes to LPG - from those who handle and store it as well as those who use it to cook; we should stop pointing fingers at others, or engage in the blame game as we will be missing the point, the way forward is how well we handle LPG bottles across the entire value chain,” he added.
He explained that gas from the Atuabo plant meets, both, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and international requirements and therefore does not pose any risk as a commodity to anyone. The GSA and the NPA requirement which is 9 bars, we do 7.5 bars while the imported ones do 5.5 bars
The CEO reiterated that LPG cannot be equated to petrol pointing out that it is not unusual to have a petrol station situated in a community but one must be extra careful if you have a gas station attached; you must have extra layers of protection because of its (gas) deceptive and volatile property, he said.
He said “I don’t buy the idea that because Ghana Gas has got a vapour pressure of 7.5 bars, so all our hoses are being damaged. It is easier to change that hose than to say we are not going to get our own indigenous gas. It is misleading for a section of the public to blame the Atomic Junction, Madina, Accra gas explosion on Ghana Gas just because it has a pressure of 7.5 bars.
“It is instructive to note that some of the accidents that happened at the discharge facilities actually didn’t have gas coming from Ghana Gas. These are low pressure gas coming from elsewhere,” he stated.
Going forward, he said, the regulators need to also enforce standards across the entire value chain and there is the need to have a periodic safety audit, at the stations and also at the facilities that produced and handle LPG, certainly at the discharge stations, he concluded.
By Salifu Kassum