Wed, May

ENERGY MINISTRY PROBES BOST - Over sale of contaminated fuel

Business & Economy

The Ministry of Energy has assured Ghanaians of its determination to ensure that the quality of petroleum products supplied onto the market is protected.

The Ministry of Energy has assured Ghanaians of its determination to ensure that the quality of petroleum products supplied onto the market is protected.

The call comes in the wake of brouhaha over the sale of 5 million litres of contaminated fuel by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Ltd, amidst claims by the Centre for Energy Policy and the National Democratic Congress that contaminated product had found its way into the open market.

The assurance was contained in a release signed by Boakye Agyarko, the Minister of Energy, announcing the decision by his ministry set set up an 8-member investigative committee to investigate the issues surrounding the contaminated product.

The 8-member committee is expected to advise the Ministry on the necessary technical, administrative and legal actions to be taken.

It would be made up of representatives of National Petroleum Authority, Tema oil Refinery, Ghana Standards Authority, Bureau of National Investigations, Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Energy Commission and representative from the relevant Civil Society Organizations.

According to the statement, “the committee would determine the circumstances that created the off-spec product, review the procedures undertaken by BOST to evacuate the product, ascertain the quality and remaining quantity of the product, determine if the product can be corrected, if not determine the alternative use for the product and review the transaction.”

The release disclosed that the ministry had received a report on the preliminary investigations conducted by the National Petroleum Authority on the issue, adding that BOST had evacuated 471,000 litres of the said product and had suspended the evacuation in compliance to the authority’s instructions.

Meanwhile, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy has still not been able to provide any atom of evidence to back its claim that the market had been flooded with contaminated fuel, after its Executive Director, Benjamin Boakye, had sought to create the impression he bought some of the contaminated fuel.

BOST has sold 5 million litres of fuel which was found to have been contaminated while the Mahama-led NDC government was in power.

The 5 million litres of contaminated product was sold to Movenpiina Company, which then sold 471,000 litres to ZUPOIL Ltd who are off-takers of the company.

Roland Ayepah, an official of ZUPOIL, Tuesday led the media and some officials of the National Petroleum Authority to inspect their storage facilities containing the contaminated product.

The inspection revealed that contrary to the widely circulated claims that the Ghanaian market had been flooded with 5 million litres of contaminated diesel, the product is intact and not released onto the open market.

It was, however, revealed that 471,000 litres of the contaminated product had been transported from the Accra Depot of BOST by ZUPOIL.

The product was stored under seal with unique numbers in the presence of officials from the NPA, who were there yesterday to certify that the seal had not been broken.

Mr Ayepah explained how the product is stored and kept under a special seal, details of which are kept with the NPA.

According to him, they would mix the contaminated diesel with a sludge to get black oil which is used by heavy industries like WACEM, Tema Special Steel Company and the textile manufacturing companies.




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