Ghana Gas: Our gas not to blame for Atomic gas explosion

Dr. Asante (right) giving his address. Photo: Victor A. Buxton

Dr. Asante (right) giving his address. Photo: Victor A. Buxton

The Ghana Gas Company Limited (GGCL) has debunked claims that the quality of its gas is to be blamed for the recent gas explosions the country has experienced.

The company was responding to allegations by the Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Truck Drivers that because of the high propane content in the LPG from Ghana Gas, the pressure is far higher than imported LPG.

According to the LPG truck drivers, the high propane content destroys vital components in the trucks and at the filling stations resulting in leakages during discharge which ignited the fires.

But at a press conference in Accra yesterday, Dr. Ben Asante, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Gas, said the quality of the commodity from GGCL should be the least headache for stakeholders in the LPG downstream.

“The source of the gas should probably be the least of our worries. More has to be done with the way we handle the vapour inventory management in the vessels as well as the transfer facilities” the Dr. Asante noted.

In his view, no matter the quality of the gas, if it was not handled along the value chain well there would still be leakages and explosions.

He admitted that gas from the GGCL had more pressure than the imported one but said the pressure could not be blamed for the explosions revealing that some explosions during discharge in the recent past were imported gas.

The propane content of LPG from the company, he said, met both local and international standards and should not be labeled as if it  did not meet standards.

“The point must be made that, if your safety protocols and the way you handle gas is not appropriate, you will have fugitive emission of the LPG.

“We have to make sure that we recognise the most vulnerable point along the chain and not to point fingers else we will not solve it” Dr. Asante stated.

To him, it was critical managers of gas filling stations instituted mitigative and remedial measures to prevent the explosions and handle them swiftly before they degenerated if it happened.

These measure include putting in place pressure relieve valves, having gas detectors, fire extinguishers among others to stop the explosions and to respond to them appropriately if it happened.

Dr. Asante said there was the need to ensure that the integrity of the loading facilities  were intact, safety protocols  were followed and inspection on gas storage tankers to guarantee that they were suitable to house the commodity.

Proposing solutions to the spate of gas explosions, Dr. Ben Asante said attitudinal change towards safety along the value chain was needed, entreated the regulators to enforce standards without fear or favour and periodically do safety audits both at the stations and facilities that deal in LPG

“We have to do our best to ensure that the areas that are most vulnerable, the discharge stations, we do our best to avoid this accidents,”

Ghana Gas, he maintained,  has been compliant in adhering to safety measures since it began commercial production two years ago as far as gas quality is concerned “or else, the Ghana Standards Authority and the National Petroleum Authority would have been on our neck.”

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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