NPA moves to halt leaky fuel tankers

Beginning next year, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) will install the Automatic Tank Gauging systems (ATGs) at all retail outlets, the CEO of the Authority, Alhassan Tampuli has disclosed.

Speaking at the opening of a stakeholders’ meeting with players in the petroleum downstream sector in Accra, he outlined measures the Authority is taking to enhance and reform the sector.

He said: “The Authority also plans to commence the installation of Automatic Tank Gauging systems (ATGs) at all retail outlets in 2019. These ATGs will also be integrated with the ERDMS [Enterprises Relations Database and Management Systems]”.

An Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG) is an electronic device whose basic function is to monitor the fuel-level in the tank over a period of time to see if the tank is leaking.

The ATGs ensure accurate level, temperature, and pressure measurements for inventory control, oil movement and overfill prevention, thus securing efficient operations.

Already, the Authority has also issued directives for depot operators to ensure that the operations and measuring systems are compliant with industry requirements. They are further required to automate their processes, and hope to integrate same with the Authority’s Enterprises Relations Database and Management Systems (ERDMS).

On implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model(CRM), he indicated that a number of consultations with various stakeholders have been done – including  members of the Council of State, Members of the National House of Chiefs, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, and residents around the Nima and Kotobabi suburbs of Accra.

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He also added that the regions will have their share of consultations very soon, before enrolment.

“While we are hopeful full implementation of the CRM will ensure safety, in the interim the Authority is collaborating with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and other relevant stakeholder agencies to enhance the capacity of persons involved in handling petroleum products, including tanker drivers and their mates,” he said.

The review is of the Price Deregulation Policy on the operations of Petroleum Service Providers. The areas to be reviewed include competition, cost of operation, service delivery, pricing methodology and their business models.

The Authority is currently collaborating with the DVLA and Road Safety Limited (RSL) to train and certify drivers, which will lead to issuance of an additional licence for hauling petroleum products. This is part of efforts to improve the safety of petroleum products transportation in the country.

Furthermore, Mr. Tampuli also stated that a review of the Oil Loss Control Manual has been completed, which is expected to improve and ensure accurate reporting for receipt and delivery of petroleum products from the depots.

The NPA also intends to commence installation of electronic sealing and tracking devices on Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) without tracking devices. The BRV tracking systems will also be integrated with the ERDMS. These measures, as listed above, will provide effective control and monitoring of petroleum product distribution activities within the Downstream Petroleum Industry.

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The Authority has also commenced the process of procuring the services of a Consultant to conduct integrity assessments of underground storage tanks and pipelines at petroleum product retail outlets.

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