Business News of 2014-04-10

Door-to-door LPG distribution to resume

The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum is to revisit the door-to-door liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) delivery system in order to make it easy for consumers to access cooking fuel.

The system, which used to be in place some years ago, collapsed as a result of inefficient guidelines and regulations.

Known as “Cylinder recirculation”, the model allowed consumers to exchange their empty cylinders with already filled LPG cylinders, instead of going to the gas station to refill them.

The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, announced this at a conference organised by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstove to review the Country Action Plan (CAP) and discuss Ghana’s stand on fuel-based interventions, enhancing stove supply, among other issues in Accra.

Mr Buah said the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum was working with its stakeholders, including the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Energy Commission, to come up with guidelines and regulations to reintroduce the Cylinder recirculation programme.

He said the model was intended to reduce the numerous health and safety- related challenges, including fatal accidents, adding that it was part of efforts at having 50 per cent of the population to use LPG and promoting the use of clean fuel.

According to the minister, about 84 per cent of households relied on solid fuels such as wood and charcoal for cooking.

Over the last 40 years, Mr Buah said, cooking fuel harvesting had contributed partially to a 70-per cent reduction in forest cover in the country.

To address the challenges associated with the use of solid fuels, the minister said the government had put in place policies and programmes that would promote the use of LPG nationwide and also improve the health conditions of Ghanaians.

As part of the measures, he said, the government had introduced the rural LPG promotion programme under which rural folks would be given free cylinders and stoves but pay for the LPG.

By the end of 2014, it is expected that about 53,000 LPG cylinders and stoves with all related accessories will be distributed in 17 districts.

The Head of Planning and Research at the NPA, Ms Sheila Addo, said the Tema Oil Refinery was upgrading its storage and pumping facilities to ensure that LPG was easily distributed and accessed in all areas in the country.

She said the authority had also embarked on an intensive sensitisation programme to educate the public on safety measures when using LPG.

The Regional Marketing Manager for the Global Alliance, Mr Kwesi Sarpong, said most people were not comfortable using LPG, hence the need to use efficient and sustainable energy and stoves to prevent health complications.

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