Energy Analyst and former Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority, Dr. Charles Wereko Brobby, has raised concerns about the dual use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country.
According to him, the situation where LPG is used more in the transport industry than for domestic use, is making it difficult for government to subsidize the commodity.
LPG, was introduced for domestic activities in the late 80s to reduce the use of charcoal and its attendant challenges on tree felling and climate change.
However, the high price of the fuel, has raised concerns among the public.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Dr. Charles Wereko Brobbey called on government to make a choice between the use LPG for domestic use and save the climate or give in to transport users who only have a parochial interest of getting cheaper gas for their vehicles.
“When you have a situation where you have a dual use of fuel which originally was intended to be for a single use, you are facing the real policy problem. This means unless you tackle that policy problem it becomes very difficult to continue to subsidize LPG in a situation where now at least half of LPG use in Ghana now is for vehicular transportation and not for the cooking that we meant it to for.
So, government has to tackle the policy issue of LPG for transportation. Because you see we have a funny situation where government is spending millions of our money and donor funds in growing trees. Now, if you are growing trees as a way of dealing with the environmental and green greenhouse issues it’s a bit silly when at the same time, 60% of our energy use in the country on a per capita basis is for the use of fuel and charcoal,” he said.
LPG promotion in Ghana started in 1990 when the Government of Ghana launched the national LPG programme under which the Tema Oil Reﬁnery (TOR) was to be modernised for massive LPG campaign to be implemented.
This policy action was taken to encourage inter-fuel substitution in the national energy economy away from charcoal and other wood fuels to reduce the rate of forest destruction and by extension protecting our ecological system and the natural environment in Ghana.
At the time, government policies concerning LPG were centred on domestic or residential consumption of the gas. However, most of the LPG produced is being patronized by motor vehicle drivers resulting in competition with domestic users,
According to some stakeholders, this is totally defeating the purpose for which government has made huge investments to establish a viable LPG market in Ghana.