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21 gas stations closed down, 11 on probation

Seven lives were lost in Saturday’s explosion

The National Petroleum Authority has shut down 21 Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)  stations across the country for failing to meet various safety standards following inspections on Thursday, October 12.

The closure of the LPG stations follows the gas explosion at Atomic Junction near Madina in Accra last week Saturday, which killed seven people and injured 132 others.

The clampdown on the stations is in tandem with a directive  by President Akufo-Addo after a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

He among others gave a directive for the “deployment of a task force, within 30 days, to assess the risk that our current LPG infrastructure poses in terms of public health and safety. High risk stations will be immediately closed down, in accordance with relevant law and without regard to any political or special interests. Low risk stations will be designated for the supply of gas for vehicles with improved safety standards.” Read more

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Hassan Tampuli told TV3 Friday evening that his outfit is “still collating the reports from zonal offices across the country” about the number of stations that have been shutdown.

He said the 21 that have already been closed down are part of the 46 stations that were monitored across five zonal areas of NPA operations –  Accra, Takoradi, Kumasi, Tamale, and Ho.

According to Mr. Tampuli, 11 more stations are on probation.

He added that the Authority would determine whether to revoke their license or not before Saturday.

Two criteria, he said, were used to determine whether a station should be closed down or be allowed to continue operation.

Inspectors will check for permits required to operate, that is permits from the Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana National Fire Service, Town and Country Planning, and Factory Inspectorate Department.

“If you do not meet any of these four permits, chances are that we will not go to the second stage to check for the safety installation that you need to have in place, such as fire extinguishers, water reservoir among others,” Mr. Tampuli stated.

Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo has directed that the NPA should recruit 200 safety auditors to join the staff of the Factories Inspectorate Department of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to check regularly on all stations to ensure full compliance with safety standards and practices.

The president has also set up a  six member ministerial co-ordinating committee  to  enforce  government’s directive on the new regulatory measures in the petroleum industry.

The Committee, to be chaired by the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, comprises the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. kwabena frimpong boateng, Local Government and Rural Development Minister Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations Ignatius Baffour Awuah and two deputy Ministers for Energy.

The  Committee is to be supported by  a Technical Implementation Committee, chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), .

Other members of the Committee are the Chief Fire Officer; the CEO of Standards Authority; the CEO of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Director of the Land Use and Spatial Development Authority; and the Director of the Department of the Factories Inspectorate.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

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