Filling fuel tanks to the brim is dangerous -NPA cautions motorists

fuel retail outlets

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has cautioned fuel retail outlets and motorists against using ramps to aid the pumping of fuel into vehicles.

It said tilting vehicles on ramps to fill them to the brim could damage fuel tanks – leading to explosions and destruction of vehicles and lives.

The Eastern Regional Manager, Mr. David Owusu-Kena, gave the caution at an NPA media engagement in Koforidua on Wednesday.

The media engagement, organised by the Communications Department, was to highlight the Authority’s activities in the petroleum downstream industry and respond to industry-related questions from the media.

Mr. Owusu-Kena said fuel tanks were not supposed to be filled to capacity, since fuel require, space for expansion.

He said fuel in fully-filled tanks spills over onto the vehicle and on forecourts of fuel stations, which could spark a fire.

Besides, he said, the expanded fuel could damage the fuel gauge and leak through old tanks into the exhaust pipe, which could start a fire that burns the whole vehicle – possibly causing injuries and loss of lives.

Touching on requirements for siting a filling station, Mr. Owusu-Kena said prospective applicants need permits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EP), Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service (GNFRS) and a local assembly before the NPA’s grants permits for constructing fuel stations.

He said the Authority makes sure that the applicant had secured all the necessary approvals from the EPA, GNFRS and assembly in order to ensure safety for residents and protection of the environment.

Taking his turn, the Head of Planning-NPA, Mr. Dominic Aboagye, outlined measures the Authority has put in place to ensure uninterrupted fuel availability and supply in the country.

The interventions include management of storage depots, the laycan allocation programme, and stock monitoring and reporting.

Besides, he said, the Gold for Oil programme, the Bank of Ghana forex support to Bulk Oil Distribution Companies, and granting Special International Oil Trading Licences are key to preventing any risk of fuel supply disruption.

Mr. Aboagye said local crude oil refining by the Akwaaba Oil Refinery and Platon Gas Oil Refinery is supporting the sector.

He said local fuel refinery will be ramped up with the expected restart of operations by Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and completion of the Sentuo refinery.

Welcoming the media on behalf NPA Chief Executive, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Corporate Affairs Director, Mrs. Maria Edith Oquaye, said last year’s media engagements across the country focused on pricing and quality of petroleum products, and indicated that this year’s sensitisation will be on requirements for siting filling stations and security of supply for petroleum products.

For his part, a member of the Governing Board of NPA and Chairman of the Consumer Services sub-committee, Kwami Sefa Kayi, lauded the NPA for its sensitisation drive and urged the media to be more proactive by asking the NPA industry-related questions for clarification.

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