The Ghana Gas Company, operators of Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, has debunked rumours that, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) produced from natural gas from the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant is of low quality, thus, it stands a higher risk of explosion.
It has further refuted allegations by some Tanker Drivers and other stakeholders that, the low quality of the LPG from the company, triggered the recent unfortunate Atomic junction gas explosion which took 7 lives, destroyed properties and leaving many others injured.
The company is rather calling for attention on how to find the root cause and to address the issue comprehensively, in stead of the blame game.
Addressing a news conference in Accra on Monday October 16th, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Gas Company, Dr. Ben Asante, admittedly said, the vapour pressure of LPG from Atuabo was slightly higher than the one produced by the Tema Oil Refinery and imported LPG, because it has more butane than propane component as compared to the one produced from crude oil. He was quick to add that, imported LPG is a mixture of 20% propane and 80% butane
Meanwhile, the propane level in gas from Atuabo, ranges between 50% and 70%, whereas butane constitutes the remaining, depending on the blend for the consignment.
Accordting to him, LPG from Ghana Gas duly meets the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA)’s requirements and did not pose any risk associated. Because GSA vapour pressure limit is 9 bar higher than the 7.5 bar vapour pressure Atuabo Gas produces.
He explained that the source of the gas determines the propane content, saying LPG from raw wet natural gas has higher propane content while LPG derived from processing of crude oil at refineries has lower propane content.
He emphasized that, atmospheric heat in Ghana can increase vapour pressure of LPG by a maximum of 1 bar, and that, the safety valves on gas infrastructures have been designed to automatically open to reduce the vapour pressure to the required levels.
Furthermore, Dr. Asante said, Ghana Gas hands over its gas to Quantum Terminals, which uses its odorization systems for natural gas and propane to give the gas odour. Thus, he was very confident the assertions made by the LPG Truck Drivers Association that, gas from Atuabo Gas Processing Plant has no odour is untrue.
He reiterated on attitudinal change towards safety and the environment by handlers and users of LPG in the country.
He however, stressed on the need to enforce standards across the supply value chain, and as well as periodic safety audits, including mitigation and also recommended capacity building for all participants to boost safety measures.
He finally applauded Cabinet on their directives and said, they would go a long way to address the challenges in the system.