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Ministry suspends gas cylinder recirculation

The Ministry of Energy has suspended the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder recirculation policy until further notice.

According to the Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, the suspension was to allow for broader stakeholder consultation and due diligence to be done to address the outstanding concerns of some stakeholders.

NPA board

Mr Agyarko was speaking at the inauguration of the Board of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in Accra last Monday.

The eight-member board is chaired by Mr Joe Addo-Yobo, a nominee of the President to the board.  The members of the board were sworn into office by the Deputy Director, Legal at the Ministry of Energy, Mrs Anita Lokko.

The other members of the committee were drawn from the NPA, the Petroleum Workers Union, the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, a representative of the consuming public and other three nominees by the President.

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Concerns

The Association of Gas Tanker Drivers recently threatened to stage a nationwide demonstration against moves to make Puma Energy, a private entity, the sole supplier of gas and LPG cylinders nationwide, on grounds that the policy would take its members out of business.

The NPA, in its response, said there was no government contract making Puma Energy Limited the sole company to supply gas and LPG cylinders to the public.

In spite of the NPA’s position that it did not sign any contract with Puma Energy Limited for the supply of LPG and gas cylinders, the association stood its ground, stressing that about 7,000 Ghanaian workers in the LPG chain would lose their jobs if the move was allowed to hold.

Diligence

Mr Agyarko said the best way forward was for the LPG recirculation process to be suspended so that due diligence could be done to address the outstanding issues to make for a better LPG sub-sector.

“May I add that these are days when rumours, misinformation, falsehood abound and has the potential to poison the goodwill of the LPG sector. I, therefore, charge you (the new board) to operate with openness, transparency, diligence and circumspection, to ensure that there is better service delivery in the interest of the consuming public,” he said.

He also urged the board to work hard to address key challenges in the petroleum downstream sector, including strategic steps to address the issue of diversion of fuel and also protect the quality of the product.

While commending President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for reposing confidence in members of the board, Mr Addo-Yobo promised that the team would work diligently to improve the petroleum downstream sub-sector.

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