Ghana operates two thousand, nine hundred (2,900) petroleum filing stations and six hundred Liquefied Petroleum Product (LPG) dispensing centres across the country, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has said.
According to the petroleum downstream regulator, these are the certified petroleum filing stations and LPG dispensing centres in the books of the NPA.
The NPA says it is working to rectify the licensing regime in accordance with the new guidelines for the acquisition of licenses for the petroleum downstream sector of the economy to ensure safety.
Mr. Ben Agyare, a representative of NPA, made this disclosure at a symposium organized by the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) as part of the association’s safety week celebrations to sensitize the public on the need to ensure safety in the petroleum downstream sector of the economy.
He said the new guidelines for the acquisition of permits for the operation of filing stations will ensure sanity in the petroleum downstream sector.
According to him, the NPA, drawing power from its law (Act 691), will monitor the activities of the petroleum downstream sector of the economy and ensure safety.
He said per the law, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have to apply for no objection letters together with a site plan for verification of the site by the NPA.
He said the fact that the guidelines, which came into being in August 1, 2016, calls for NPA’s assessment of the site is paramount to the issuance of license to OMCs.
The NPA monitors the activities in the petroleum downstream sector in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Town and Country Planning Department to ensure OMCs adhere to safety standards.
Mr. Agyare explained that the rapid vehicular traffic in the country has resulted in the increase of the number of retail outlets especially in areas leading to the major towns and border areas.
In a welcome address, Mr. Kweku Agyeman Duah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AOMCs recognised that there are two schools of thought on the citing of fuel and LPG sale outlets.
In the first instance, certain people amongst the general public are of the view that retail outlets should not be constructed at the heart of the cities because of the wide-ranging effects fuel-related accidents can have on the public.
On the other hand, OMCs and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketing Companies argue that there should be proximity of retail outlets to the public; thus, citing outlets in the heart of the cities to improve accessibility.
To find answers to these questions is why “we are having the forum to create the platform for the panellists who are experts in their terrain to delve deep into the whys and hows of citing of retail outlets in the country,’ Mr. Kweku Agyeman Duah said.