Mr. Samuel Constant Kwaku, a Gas Technician has claimed almost all gas refill stations operating in the country have consistently failed to comply with safety regulations in their operations.
According to the former NPA staff, a monitoring exercise conducted on some refill centres “didn’t find one station complying” with the regulations set out by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
Seven persons died, while 132 others sustained various degrees of injuries in the multiple explosions that started from the Mansco Gas Station and extended to the adjacent Total Filling Station, all at the Atomic Junction last Saturday.
The NPA, following the recent disaster, has shut down 21 “high risk” Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) filling stations. Fuel stations found to be non-compliant may suffer a similar fate.
Speaking Monday, October 16, 2017, on the Super Morning show on Joy FM, Mr. Samuel Constant Kwaku, who worked with the NPA for years, said the over 600 refill stations operating across the country have consistently violated the guidelines established by the NPA.
He said some stations ignore the instruction to use gas valves in the discharge of gas and use water and air valves as well as disregarding the need to adhere to operating with a working pressure of not more than 6%.
“A normal working pressure of an LPG station should be around 6% but I hear the boys saying it’s around 9% already. Should there be any temperature rise or whatever, that [will] have another ripple effect,” he warned.
Asked by the host of the show, Kojo Yankson if the NPA is adequately resourced to constantly check these refill stations, Mr. Kwaku responded: “I’m afraid no. The staff are even not many.”
He said the regulatory body lacked the capacity and the requisite resources to monitor operations at LPG refill centres to ensure the right procedures are followed.
“I have seen a situation whereby a National Service person just came and then he was assigned to go for an inspection at Gbawe [in Accra] without a refresher course,” he stated, suggesting the staff was certainly not competent enough to do what was expected of him.