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Ghana Gas Rejects Blame -We Operate Within Limits Of Ghana Standards Authority – CEO Declares   
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The Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), operators of Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, has cautioned against engaging in a blame game in the aftermath of the unfortunate Atomic Junction gas explosion.

Rather, the company wants attention to be focused on comprehensively addressing safety issues, especially root cause analysis of the entire value chain of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of Ghana Gas, Dr Ben Asante, issued the caution at a press conference in reaction to LPG Truck Drivers Association, who blamed the Atomic Junction explosion on high propane level in gas from Atuabo.

Ghana’s LPG standard
In Ghana, imported LPG is a mixture of 20% propane and 80% butane.
Atuabo gas: high propane level
Meanwhile, the propane level in gas from Atuabo ranges between 50% and 70% while butane constitutes the remaining, depending on the blend for the consignment.

Atuabo gas within Ghana Standards Authority limit
But, Dr Asante said even though gas from Atuabo Gas Processing Plant has higher pressure, it is still within the limit approved by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).

7.5 Bar vapour pressure in Atuabo gas
According to him, the GSA vapour pressure limit is 9 bar higher than the 7.5 bar vapour pressure Atuabo Gas produces.
Source determines vapour pressure
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.

Heating value
According to him, propane is lighter while butane is heavier, and these determine the heating value.

He explained that atmospheric heat in Ghana can increase vapour pressure of LPG by a maximum of 1 bar, but was quick to add that safety valves on gas infrastructure have been designed to automatically open to reduce the vapour pressure to the required levels.

Question of odour
Dr Asante said Ghana Gas hands over its gas to Quantum Terminal, which uses its odorization systems for natural gas and propane to give the gas odour.

Therefore, he was confident that the assertion by the LPG Truck Drivers Association that gas from Atuabo Gas Processing Plant has no odour cannot be accurate.

He was convinced that the quality of the gas from the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant is the least of the problems responsible for the recent gas explosions, saying “the issues have nothing to do with the commodity”.

Transportation and storage facilities
Transportation and storage facilities were built long before Ghana discovered oil.

When asked whether transportation and storage facilities have what it takes to handle high vapour pressure that is produced at Atuabo, Dr Asante said it would be unwise for anyone to build infrastructure to handle only one specification of LPG.

However, only a complete safety audit can establish whether transportation and storage facilities have what it takes to handle 7.5 bar.

Enforcement of standards
He emphasised attitudinal change towards safety and environment by handlers and users of LPG.

He stressed the need to enforce standards across the value chain, as well as periodic safety audits, including mitigation and remedial safety measures.

He commended the directives given by cabinet, saying they would go a long way to address the challenges in the system.

Siting of LPG facilities
Dr Asante stated that LPG facilities should be sited 200 metres away from residential areas because the risk is high.

To buttress his point, he stated that even pipelines for transportation of gas buried deep underground are sited 200 metres away from residential facilities because, irrespective of safety protocols, the risk to life and property is high.
Source: The Finder

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