Cylinder Recirculation Will Not Favour The Poor – COPEC

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), is raising concerns about the strain the Cylinder Re-circulation Model of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distribution may put on poor Ghanaians.

The Chamber’s Executive Director, Duncan Amoah, noted the inflexibility of the programme on The Big Issue and suggested the old system of distribution be employed alongside the new module ordered by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

The new module, proposed by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), means that LPG Bottling Plants will be sited away from highly populated areas and commercial centers. 

These plants will procure, brand, maintain and fill empty cylinders to be distributed to consumers and households through retail outlets and stations, deemed to be low risk, after a government assessment.

The directive followed the public outcry over the siting of LPG stations in the wake of the explosion at a gas station at Atomic Junction that claimed 7 lives and injured 132.

Following analysis of the module by COPEC, Mr. Amoah noted a number of challenges that could emerge with the programme, including possible arguments over cylinder aesthetics, and the need for about 150 percent more cylinders to be manufactured.

“The plants would have to have their own cylinders that they will refill and send to their outlets so that when I come with my bottle, I quickly pick one,” he noted.

But a key challenge will be the reduction in flexibility for consumers because of the fixed measurement expected to be sold.

“…Now when we move to the re-circulation point, what it would then mean is, if it’s the 14 kg bottle you have, you must necessarily buy 14 kg whether your money is up to or it is not.”

Thus, he said this challenge will be critical to the extent that, “effectively, people will now have to pay for the cylinders they carry. People will now have to either have to own all the sizes [of gas cylinders] so that whatever your money is able to pay for, you go and pick it up.”

“But those who cannot afford, those are the other segment of the population we should think about carefully, and so we have suggested that it should co-exist,” Mr. Amoah said.