The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has shut down some 36 gas refill stations for, failing to comply with safety protocols, nonpayment of statutory and distributors’ margins as well as operating without permits.
This followed ongoing nationwide monitoring and inspection exercises being conducted by officials of the NPA to ensure those operating in the gas refill business adhere strictly to guidelines established by the NPA.
Chief Executive Officer of the NPA, Hassan Tampuli, who disclosed this Friday, October 20, 2017, on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, said so far 97 refill stations have been inspected and assessed for various checks on their installations.
According to Mr. Tampuli, the NPA was unable to reach a decision on some of the inspected gas plants at the time of the visit because they still had products and have therefore been given some time to reduce their stock.
“So far 36 [stations] have been closed down and that’s about one-third of the stations that we have monitored,” Mr. Tampuli noted while assuring, the NPA will “continue to monitor that they are in compliance with safety protocols.”
He explained that the Authority usually does not go public with such decisions because “we do not want to create fear and panic…and secondly, we don’t want to destroy some brands because of temporary issues that they have had. We don’t want to destroy them permanently.”
Gas marketers earlier this week shut down their operations to enable them correct safety issues at their installations, apparently to escape sanctions as the regulator embarks on a mission to crack the whip on operators who do not comply with the regulations.
Gas operators were directed to shut down their facilities for inspection by the Association’s Internal Maintenance and Security Taskforce.
The order was in reaction to the increasing spate of gas explosions recorded in the country, with the recent happening at Atomic Junction killing at least seven and injuring over 130 others.
The NPA boss told show host, Kojo Yankson that although the gas marketers have “genuine concerns, we also want to be on the side of safety.”