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National petroleum safety campaign launched in Accra

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) on Tuesday launched this year’s national petroleum safety campaign with more than 100 oil marketing companies (OMC) signing safety declaration certificates.

The signing of the certificates signify the commitment of the OMCs and industry players to adhere to safety standards in the petroleum downstream industry throughout the year.

The safety campaign, introduced in 2017, reinforces the need for observance of safety protocols and educates the public on their role in preventing fires at petroleum installations and other locations.

This year’s campaign is on the theme “People safety first.”

Launching the campaign, the Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr Joseph Cudjoe, charged industry association to instil safety standards through peer review to keep members in check.

He urged the public to boycott services of stations that exposed them to extreme danger as companies were emboldened to disregard safety measures due to high patronage.

Mr Cudjoe expressed worry over the practice where people built houses and other facilities near petroleum installations and turn around to request the NPA to close down the installations.

To check this, he called on the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to consider the proximity of petroleum installations before they issued building permits to people.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPA, Mr Alhassan Tampuli, indicated his outfit’s resolve to prevent accidents in the petroleum downstream and its attendant loss of lives and property.

As part of this resolve, he said NPA had intensified inspection and monitoring activities across the country in addition to the opening of its centre of excellence this year.

The centre of excellence, Mr Tampuli, said would among other things, build the capacity of various operators in the industry in the safe handling of petroleum products.

He outlined plans toward the implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model, which would involve the filing of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders at secured outlets for distribution to vendors.

He said some 510 LPG stations, classified as high risk stations during a risk assessment last year, would be turned into cylinder distribution centres while 34 low risk ones would be considered for auto gas refilling centres.

Reminding the public of the risks involved in inappropriate handling of petroleum products, the NPA CEO urged the public to adhere to the safety precautions being propagated by the authority to safeguard their lives.

Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, CEO of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, affirmed the willingness of the OMCs to adhere to the safety measures to safeguard life and property.

He said the association had intentions of using technology, peer auditing and other means to enhance safety at their installations.


BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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