The Joint Pipeline Management Committee operators of the various petroleum terminals in the Effia Industrial Enclave close to New Takoradi is assuring communities nestling around their operations that there are adequate preventive as well as safety mechanisms in place against any danger associated with petroleum products.
The committee comprising of Cirrus Oil Services limited, Blue Ocean Investment limited, Ghanstock Limited and United Storage Company explained that the gas explosion that occurred at GHUMCO, in the same enclave with them, has nothing to do with their operations.
“What happened is way exclusive from us. We do not deal in gas. The incident is most unfortunate and we do sympathize with the people who got hurt in the process. But I will stress, this is gas and gas is different from what we do here. We are dealing with petrol, we are dealing with diesel”.
These are the products we deal with here”, Coordinator of the Joint Pipeline Management Committee Mark Henry Freeman stated.
The gas explosion that occurred at GHUMCO two weeks ago left hundreds injured with a host of the victims still receiving treatment. Following the incidents Sekondi Takoradi has been put on high alert with some asking how safe these installations are. Coming on the heels of the public apprehension the Joint Pipeline Management Committee organized a media briefing to demonstrate how safe their operations are.
In a presentation on behalf of the Joint Pipeline Management Committee, Takoradi Terminal Manager for Cirrus Oil Services Limited Michael Saahene-Kyeremateng assured that the precautionary measures at the four terminals are water tight.
“If you look at our firefighting equipment we have fire pumps, water storage tanks and foam tanks all for fighting fire. There are fire monitors and hydrant pillars located at strategic locations within the plants. We also have adequate fire extinguishers at various points within the plants. Also installed in each office are smoke detectors. We also have flame detectors installed at the product pump house and at the loading gantry. There are sprinkler systems installed on all product tanks and at the loading gantry and product pump house. What more there is Manual call points located within the plant for triggering alarm”.
Mr. Saahene-Kyeremateng explained that per their incident prevention management system there is the, “Implementation of proactive incident reporting such as unsafe act, unsafe condition, potential incident and near misses as well as daily toolbox meetings. We have also empowered our staff to stop any work if deemed unsafe”.
Coordinator for the Joint Pipeline Management Committee Mark Henry Freeman added that, “our systems are such that we always manage the risk around us. I remember when the explosion happened quickly we all activated our safety protocols in readiness of any fire that will come our way”.
“We always make sure that whatever that we do, we ensure safety for ourselves and the communities so that we don’t have cases of explosion, fire or spillage within the environment”.
Mr. Henry Freeman stated that to assure themselves [Joint Pipeline Management Committee] that everything is safe around them they have extended their safety culture to their host communities.
“We run sensitization programs on safety periodically and especially during festive seasons where people play with explosives like fire crackers and the rest. We have also shared with the communities our emergency response plan. We have erected safety signposts at vantage posts. Finally, what we intend to do is to select some people in the community to give them basic firefighting techniques. This will be done in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service”.