The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has directed the management of T-Tekpor Gas Refilling station located at Afariwa Junction in the Ashaiman Municipality to decommission the facility by December 31, 2018.
The directive by the downstream petroleum regulator follows a recommendation by a Multi -Stakeholder Committee, after a petition from the Assembly Member of the area, Charles Kissi raised some concerns that the siting and operations of the facility poses significant risk to two adjoining schools viz, Tema International School and Tema Ridge School) in view of the hazardous nature of LPG.
A letter signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPA, Hassan Tampuli, and sighted by this reporter, explained the circumstances leading to the action by his outfit.
The letter stated: “Following a directive by the Ministry of Energy to the NPA to investigate the concerns of the petitioners and advice accordingly, the Multi-Stakeholders Committee (MSC) was tasked to conduct the necessary investigations. The MSC comprises representatives of the NPA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC), Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA) and Department of Factories Inspectorate.
“As part of the investigative process, the MSC met with all the stakeholders involved including representatives of T-Tekpor Energy Limited facility and at the meeting, all the various parties submitted documents covering their operations to the Committee for review. Subsequently, the MSC visited your LPG refilling plant to conduct risk assessment of the facility. The Committee also visited the two adjoining schools to appreciate the concerns of the petitioners. Following the visits, the MSC deliberated on the findings of the investigation and concluded that the current location of your refilling plant poses a threat to the neighbours of the facility especially the two adjoining schools.
“The Committee further noted that in the event of explosion, the consequence will be catastrophic as the population in the two schools exceeded 700. The MSC, therefore, recommended that the LPG refilling plant should be relocated as soon as possible to avert any potential disaster.
“We wish to inform you that the NPA, in consultation with the Ministry of Energy, has approved the recommendation of the Multi-Stakeholder Committee. Consequently, we regret to inform you that your authorisation to operate the said refilling plant will not be renewed after the 31st December, 2018. You are, therefore, directed to take immediate steps to suspend your operations and also decommission the refilling plant by the said date. However, you may consider filling cylinders of your customers at any approved LPG refilling plants and distribute them at the current location.”
The letter concluded by warning management of the facility that its failure to adhere to the directive would attract severe sanctions.
Dissatisfied, however, by the NPA’s directive, the management of T-Tekpor Gas Filling Station had filed a suit at an Accra High court to challenge the decision.
When contacted the CEO of NPA Hassan Tampuli confirmed the issue and stated that his outfit is only waiting for the final determination of the case for them to know their next line of action.
Michael Creg Afful