Energy expert, Yussif Sulemana, has expressed the need for the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to address safety concerns inherent in the refilling of cylinders with the newly introduced cylinder recirculation model.
According to him, the petroleum industry is such that for both the upstream and downstream, one cannot compromise on safety. He revealed that for any LPG outlets, all the conditions necessary for an explosion are present, as it only requires a spark.
“There’s a lot of safety breaches that are pertaining, which we have sent a lot of recommendation to the regulator and I’m hoping they will swiftly implement them. I’m saying that because they plan to run this policy alongside the old model, which is an excellent thing, so that they’ll be able to measure the efficiency of the old model and new model…
“So, I just call on them to ensure that all potential safety breaches within the old model [are resolved].”Yussif Sulemana
Closing gaps between old and new model
Mr Sulemana stated that considering how cylinders are refilled under the old model, the exhaust of cars being within proximity the refill area is quite a dangerous thing. As such, he noted that what the policy will do is to segregate the consumer interface from the hydrocarbon.
Furthermore, he explained that once the new model is sufficient enough, consumers will rather gravitate automatically, and won’t need to wait for three years.
“You are not in any way in direct contact with the filling outlet or processing facility – in which case, where the old model is.”Yussif Sulemana
Elaborating on what it will take for the new model to succeed, Mr Sulemana expressed that it will require extensive stakeholder engagement. By this, he noted that all the parties that are involved have to know the roles to play in the implementation.
“I think in this regard, NPA, is doing creditably well. I think a week ago, they engaged some of the CSOs which my organization was part of… They managed to take some of the guys around some of these facilities they are introducing to the value chain.
“So, it is important that these stakeholders understand the dynamics of this cylinder recirculation. If that is done and done well, that gives the chance for it to succeed.”Yussif Sulemana
Furthermore, Mr Sulemana highlighted that the new model stands the chance of closing the inherent gaps in the old system. Additionally, he revealed that the new model can succeed if it doesn’t lead to escalation in prices, because the regulator is introducing a lot of value streams into the system.
“I always think that if you are introducing a policy and value streams, if the value streams are able to generate enough profit and you can manage it such that you don’t pass it entirely to the consumer, it should stand the chance to succeed…”Yussif Sulemana
Moreover, Mr Sulemana justified that the last thing regulators need is to have escalation of prices as a result of this policy. To this end, he expressed optimism that the regulator is aware of this and is working around the clock to ensure that as much as it champions the policy, it is also mindful of the potential setbacks which could roll back the policy.