Like Nepal, India, and many other nations throughout Asia and Africa, officials from the National Petroleum Authority announced yesterday that Ghana now faces a propane shortage that could last a year at the very least, Business News reported.
Both private households and local industries are expected to suffer from the lack of LPG availability and supplies. Desperate consumers have resorted to trekking to gas stations in search of any kind of petroleum product suitable for domestic use, and some are being forced to cook all their meals with charcoal. Several businesses have already closed.
The major issues such as delivery and pumping restrictions, coupled with insufficient storage space at the Tema Oil Refinery – a capacity of just 7,000 metric tons – can’t be fixed instantly. Commercial vehicles are also being blamed, since many believe the transportation industry is using an disproportional amount of the subsidized, clean fuel. Workers are currently constructing the West Africa Gas Pipeline to alleviate demand pressure, but the project is currently facing multiple infrastructural and logistical snags.
“Seven months is not enough time to be able to comprehensively deal with the infrastructural challenges that we have,” said Yaro Kasambata, the NPA’s public relations officer. “For example, if we need to expand the pipe we have, the expert says that from six inches in diameter, we need to move to about eight inches in diameter.”
“What that means is that it increases your flow rate because the bigger the pipe, the more product can pass through at a time,” he added. “It takes about 24 months to complete a typical storage facility and they started somewhere last year. We hope to put the facility in use in the early part of next year.”