The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has tasked all stakeholders in the downstream petroleum industry to aim at zero accident at all their retail outlets, adding that the loss of lives due to petroleum-related fires is becoming too many.
To achieve this, the authority has tasked all operators of petroleum product facilities to improve upon their safety standards, as well as keep an up-to-date log book of all accidents and near misses at such facilities.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the NPA, Mr Hassan Tampuli, at the inauguration of the first solar-powered service station by Total Ghana.
He said the authority had also intensified its monitoring activities to ensure that petroleum service providers operated in accordance with the prescribed standards or performance.
Illegal fuel activities
Mr Tampuli also expressed concern about the illegal fuel activities that were being undertaken by some unscrupulous persons in the country.
He said such activities put consumers at risk of purchasing low quality fuels, and denied lawful operators in the industry of their required revenue, while the government also lost revenue in the form of unpaid taxes.
He, therefore, assured the public that the NPA was collaborating with the security agencies to deal ruthlessly with any persons arrested and found culpable in that regard.
“Any licensed petroleum service provider found to be engaging in any such activity will have its operating license suspended or permanently revoked,” he stated.
He mentioned that the authority was also collaborating with the national security and other stakeholders to prepare comprehensive guidelines for the confiscation and handling of any vessels, canoes, bulk road vehicles and petroleum products involved or used in illegal fuel activities.
“The NPA will continue to provide the right regulatory environment for all players in the downstream petroleum sector to conduct business in a fair and competitive manner to meet the expectations of the consuming public,” he noted.
Renewable energy resources
The Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, also speaking at the event commended Total Ghana for operating the first solar-powered service station in the country.
He said the country was well endowed with renewable energy resources which were yet to be fully exploited.
He pointed out that the ministry had commenced the implementation of the Scaling up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP) with the objective of delivering over 55 mini grids, 38,000 stand alone solar home systems and 15,000 net metered solar-with-storage systems for homes and small medium enterprises across the country.
“This programme is one of government’s flagship initiatives to transform the energy landscape of the country, improve energy access and create opportunities for the private sector,” he stated.
The Managing Director of Total Ghana, Mr Eric Fanchini, said the project formed part of its modernization plan to solarise at least 50 per cent of its network stations within five years.
He added that it formed part of efforts to contribute to efficient and environmentally friendly energy solutions in the country and also align with its ambition to be a responsible energy company.
“The world’s energy future, inclusive of Ghana’s, is being shaped by the dual challenge of climate change and growing demand for electricity, making renewable energies, particularly solar, very crucial in this new environment,” he said.
“As a long-standing Ghanaian oil marketing company, we are proud to complement the efforts of the government in prioritising the use of solar energy” he added.