The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has been given the green light to engage 200 safety officers who will ensure that safety standards are complied with at all gas stations across the country.
Per the clearance issued by the Energy Ministry, auditors would move from station to station to ensure compliance with safety standards.
Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, who disclosed this at the inauguration of the reconstituted board of the Ghana National Gas Company Limited (GCNC), said government would take steps to make gas stations safe.
Mr. Agyarko said as part of efforts by government to ensure that the incident at the Mansco Gas filling station at Atomic junction does not reoccur, a new policy document to be approved by cabinet would become operational.
The Minister said for the past six months, the ministry has been working on the new policy that would spell out the modalities in setting up gas stations.
“We have extensively engaged stakeholders in the operations of that new policy. I must admit that we have received some resistance from some vested interest who see this as impacting negatively on their businesses,” he said.
“But at the end of the day what we ought to consider is the safety of our citizens over primary pecuniary interest. So it is that that we will bring to the fore and make sure that the standard of care and safety around the handling of gas conforms to best international practice,” he added.
The Minister charged the board, chaired by Christine Churcher, former MP and Minister Mr. Ajarko, to work to improve the gas industry in the country.
The board members include Dr Ben K. D. Asante, Andrew Kofi Agyapa Mercer, Stephen Sumani Nayina, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli, Abraham Ossei Aidooh, Delphine Dogbegah, Nana Owusu Ansah Ababio and Joseph Kwaku Acolatse.
Mr. Agyarko tasked the board to focus on technical, commercial and organizational matters.
The minister said, “I also expect you to lead the expansion of the gas infrastructure, as it currently exists.”
He urged them to work towards expanding the current processing plant to accommodate increment flows from Greater Jubilee and TEN, as well as enhance the existing offshore pipeline capacity to 400mmscfd with compression.
“In terms of commercial matters, you are expected to ensure that all Gas Sales Agreement and processing and transportation agreement are appropriately executed.
The board was also asked to build a strong relationship with all project affected communities.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri