The long-awaited Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) which is anticipated to reduce risks associated with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) access and use in the country is set to take off in early 2019.
Preparations have long been underway and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is determined to roll out what the general public keenly expects to reduce the incessant gas explosions in the country.
The use of liquefied petroleum gas in Ghana has been characterized by poor handling and management of gas cylinders both in the domestic and commercial environment leading to frequent fatal gas explosions that have claimed several lives and ruined properties running into millions of cedis.
The government is convinced that the CRM is just the right way to stop these explosions and hence, the President’s order to have it fully implemented. Accordingly, the government is to issue licenses to some Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) companies to begin operations as distributors when the program is duly implemented in 2019.
Before the commencement of the program, however, fuel stations sited in recognized high-risk areas will be converted into distribution outlets for filled cylinders. Here, patrons can secure a filled cylinder for a minimal initial deposit. Low-risk refilling plants, on the other hand, will supply auto-gas under strict safety measures.
NPA’s Chief Executive, Hassan Tampuli, estimates that the CRM will create not less than 4500 jobs when rolled out. For instance, bottling plants to be set up will each employ a minimum of forty employees at each site.
Here’s how the system will work ;
Under the CRM model, no single person would own a gas cylinder. A consumer would have to go for a filled cylinder at a certified distribution outlet and leave an empty cylinder for refilling. New users, however, would have to pay a deposit before taking a filled cylinder to enable that outlet to procure new cylinders for the project.
Aside from distribution outlets, there will be truckloads of filled LPG cylinders to circulate in neighborhoods as distribution agents to households. It is expected that this approach would increase accessibility to the product and ease the usual stress.
Kumasi for CRM Pilot;
The Ashanti regional capital of Kumasi, with a record number of high-risk LPG stations, has been targeted for the starting point of the CRM implementation, according to the Deputy Energy Minister, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam’s directive to the NPA.
All high-risk stations in the densely populated city are expected to face a shutdown and be converted into cylinder distribution points where users can go and have their empty cylinders exchanged for filled ones.
To facilitate the piloting, a cylinder bottling plant has already been established to effectively support the exercise. Moreover, Mr. Tampuli says gas stations sited on the outskirts of the metropolis would be used as substitutes for CRM sites. There, cylinders will be filled and sent to high-risk stations in the capital to be redistributed to the public.
Two bottling plants are scheduled to be built in the region to cater to Ashanti and Bono Ahafo when the implementation of the CRM is fully active. Deputy Minister Amin Adam is hopeful that relocating high-risk stations from residential communities out into the suburbs will greatly reduce the incidence of gas explosions and thus urged the citizenry to be supportive and cooperative when the shutdown comes into force.
To this effect, a task force will be set up and deployed whose primary duty will be to ensure the smooth implementation of the program.