LPG operators have withdrawn from a government committee set up to address the rising spate of gas explosions.

The Association of the operators says their concerns have been ignored during a meeting of the Cylinder Re-distribution Policy Implementation committee.

Ghana recorded its eighth gas explosion in three years when an explosion at a fuel station at Atomic Junction in Accra left seven dead and 134 injured.

Atomic Junction explosion

After a Cabinet meeting on October 12, 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo on the advice of Cabinet directed that the Cylinder Recirculation Module on the distribution of LPG be implemented.

This means that LPG Bottling Plants will be sited away from congested commercial and population centres and will procure, brand, maintain and fill empty cylinders to be distributed to consumers and households through retail outlets.

Also, low-risk stations will be designated for the supply of gas to vehicles.

The policy which had been shelved since 2012 will run alongside current practice where consumers take their empty cylinders to the gas refill centres, until after a year when it will become fully operational. 

The committee supervising the policy implementation now faces a setback after one of the stakeholders announced it withdrawal for lack of cooperation.

President of the Ghana LPG Operators Association Torgbi Adaku V said on Top Story on Joy FM, he has been treated unfairly during committee hearings.

“Anytime I raise my hand. I am not called’, he told host Evans Mensah Monday and added a question he asked during a meeting was once overruled.

Beyond the ill-treatment he complained of, the President of the Association was emphatic that the full implementation of the policy in its current form will “destroy our business.”

He wants the policy to run alongside the existing practice which invites clients to go to fuel stations to fill their cylinders.

He rejects claims that the siting of gas stations within dense residential quarters is partly to be blamed for the explosions.

He believes proper regulation and monitoring is all that is needed to curb the menace of gas explosions.

The Association expressed fears last December that the policy implementation could lead to job losses at gas stations.

The government also faces some resistance from the Association of LPG Marketers which threatened to take legal action against the government over the LPG re-distribution policy.

The Association voiced similar concerns about job losses expressed by the Ghana LPG Operators Association over the implementation of the ‘business-killing’ redistribution policy.