Eight member committee to probe BOST contaminated fuel saga

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh

An eight-member committee has been setup by the Energy Ministry to investigate circumstances surrounding the sale of contaminated fuel to too oil companies Movenpina Energy and Zup oil by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation company (BOST).

A statement signed by the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, said the Ministry was acting on preliminary investigations conducted by the National Petroleum Authority [NPA].

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, Ghana (COPEC-GH) on Tuesday June 27 accused the managing director of BOST, of recklessly allowing onto the market over 5 million litres of contaminated fuel, known as off-spec. the chamber said the fuel could cause extensive damage to vehicle engines.

The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company has denied the claims, saying its checks indicate the fuel is still safely being held at the premsis of Zup oil.

The preliminary investigations by the NPA revealed Movenpina Energy and Zup oil are not licensed to operate in the business. NPA added that, the companies had breached Section 11 of the National Petroleum Authority Act 691, 2005, that regulates commercial activities in the downstream petroleum industry.

The statement from the Energy Ministry states that BOST has evacuated 471,000 litters of the contaminated product but has suspended the evacuation in accordance with the directive from the NPA.

The eight-member committee comprises officials from the NPA, Tema oil refinery, Ghana Standard Authority, BNI, Chamber of Bulk oil distributors and the Association of oil marketing companies, Energy commission and representatives from relevant civil society groups in the country.

The terms of reference include; To determine the circumstances that created the off-spec product.
• Reveal procedures undertaking by BOST to evacuate the contaminated product.
• Ascertain the quality and the remaining quantity of product and determine if the product can be corrected, if not the alternative use of the product and the review of the transaction between the companies.

 The Energy Ministry assured the general public of its commitment to ensuring quality petrol product is on the market for consumers.