By Ethel Mensah, Tema
The Ministry of Energy, has set up a committee to investigate the fire outbreak that gutted one of the three 14 inches diameter oil pipelines, belonging to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) behind the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), which claimed the life of one person and injured three others.
The committee, which comprised of representatives from the Energy Ministry, Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Ghana Police, Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA), Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana Navy, National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the National Security, has been given two weeks ultimatum to finish with their investigations.
This was disclosed by Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy when he paid a working visit to the Refinery and the spot where the 14 inch diameter oil pipeline went into flames.
According to him, the committee will specifically look at the source of the leakage of the pipeline, the damage caused and make sure that there are enough safety measures available to prevent the public from thronging into the scene to scoop finished oil products and the integrity of the
Hon Kofi Buah said; “While the information we have been given assures us of continues flow of the product, we still need to do a recourse analysis to understand the causes of the fire outbreak and to make sure that measures are put in place to address the issue and avoid its re-occurrences”.
He expressed his condolences and that of President John Dramani Mahama to the family of the deceased, the late Kofi Mensah.
The late 32 year-old auto electrician Kofi Mensah, whose wife is four months old pregnant got married about eight months ago, works at the Tema industrial area.
The Acting Managing Director of TOR, Eastmond Asamoah said at 11:10am yesterday, TOR commenced the exportation of Naphtha from the refinery to the Tema Harbour.
He continued that at about 2:00pm, TOR security personnel stationed at observation post 3 at the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) informed the safety department of a product leakage.
He explained that a huge smoke was subsequently detected and thereafter fire engulfed the whole area, but the fire was contained with the help of fire personnel and their fire tenders from TOR, VRA, and GPHA among others.
Mr. Eastwood Asamoah who noted that investigations are underway however assured the general public that the installation is safe and that the product supply would not be affected.
With regards to how the fire outbreak affected operations of CPC, Public Relations Manager of the company, Mr. J Ekow Rhule said they were disturbed and that the power supply to the factory disrupted their operations during the period and they had to shut down the plant.
Mr. Rhule again revealed that the portion of the wall that is close to the gas pipeline is badly damaged and some of their materials to the wall also got burnt in the process.
“We are accessing the place and the damages caused”, he noted.
He continued that their security personnel are on the ground to prevent the public from entering the area where the incident happened and to ensure that the incident that occurred do not pose any danger to the workers.