Business News of Tuesday, 1 January 2019
The National Petroleum Authority’s attempt to relocate T-Tekpor LPG refilling plant at Afariwaa in the Ashaiman municipality in the Greater Accra region has suffered another setback.
NPA, in a letter dated 7th November, 2018, directed T-Tekpor Energy Ltd to relocate its refilling facility by 31st December 2018.
The letter also stated categorically that the operating permit of the company will not be renewed after the said date.
T-Tekpor Energy Ltd has however filed a suit at an Accra High court to contest NPA’s directive.
The site for the gas station is said to have existed in the last two decades with T-Tekpor Energy Ltd taking over about six years ago as a third company to operate.
The decision to relocate the facility became necessary after some stakeholders petitioned the Energy Ministry and NPA.
The petition raised risk concerns the facility posed to two adjoining schools, Tema International School and Tema Ridge School.
The petition further said, in the event of explosion, the impact will be severe due to the environment in which refilling station is sited.
A multi-stakeholder committee made up of Ghana National Fire Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Factory Inspectorate among others was then formed to investigate the issue.
NPA upon advice of the committee and in consultation with Energy Ministry arrived at the decision to relocate the facility.
Assemblyman for Niiman Electoral Area, Charles Kissi is one of the petitioners.
“Looking at the schools, estates, busy road, churches among other things, the fatality will be more than what we saw at Madina should there be an explosion”,he told Adom News.
A driver at the Afariwaa junction taxi rank, Samuel Besse holds a different opinion as the LPG station has high safety standard.
“I am surprised the authorities have descended on the gas station. This station was here long before these schools and other projects around were started. Though T-Tekpor Ltd is the third company to operate the facility, we haven’t recorded any issue all these years”
He believes relocation of the facility will equally have a negative impact on customers across its operational area and beyond.
Meanwhile, owner of a mechanic shop close by, Iddi Iddrisu has a mixed a reaction.
“Personally, the gas station here has no negative effect on my business. It rather helps my customers and though I sometimes smell gas. On any day, gas station anywhere can pose risk to people no matter its location but if there is an issue, I think it should be resolved, he indicated.
T-Tekpor Energy Ltd said business is good during the festive season but the current relocation saga has forced them to suspend operation as they await court to settle the matter.
“If it’s about safety standards, then this company is rated high and we are ever committed to it. We also have children in the schools in question and there is no way we will risk the lives of the children”, the company said.