Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh

The Energy Ministry is expected to meet the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in September to finalize a cabinet memo on the lifting of ban on construction of new Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) outlets.

Chief Director at the Ministry, Lawrence Apalsee said NPA in the last few years has placed a ban on the construction of new LPG outlets, causing discontent among marketers.

“Within the first week of September’s we are going to finalize a cabinet memo on the lifting of the ban on LPG refilling plants. We will meet with NPA and iron out the differences in it and roll it out,” he said.

He disclosed this to Joy Business at Kpone where he represented sector minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh at the swearing-in ceremony of new executives for Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union.

According to him, with the Cylinder Re-circulation Model (CRM) coming in, there have been issues as to how to roll-out the programme with one of them being the new refilling plants.

He said LPG marketers have been appealing to the ministry to lift the ban.

After the Atomic Junction gas explosion in 2017, construction of new LPG refill outlets was banned, citing safety concerns.

This drew bad blood between LPG marketers and gas tanker drivers on one hand and NPA on the other.

To express their dismay over the impact of the decision on business and livelihood, the drivers put down their tools among other actions to drum home their concerns but government held its grounds. 

For the Energy Ministry and NPA, one of the reasons for the delay is the planned implementation of the Cylinder Re-circulation Model which was being piloted at Kade in the Eastern region and four other districts.

Over 38,000 cylinders were scheduled to be used in the piloting phase.

It is expected that the model will help push the use of LPG from 25% to 50% by 2030.

Energy Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh in July this year revealed that cabinet had approved rollout of CRM which will help reduce domestic use of charcoal.

Although some players in the downstream petroleum sector fear job losses over the implementation of the model, government maintains it will help create more employment.

After several calls from stakeholders to lift the ban, government will decide their fate at the said meeting in September 2021.