The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has asked the motoring public to exercise restraint and be assured that the said contaminated fuel the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Sold to Movenpiina and subsequently to Zup Oil has not hit the market as reported.
Assuring the public as regulators that none of the contaminated fuel had hit the market for the consuming public, the acting Chief Executive of the NPA, Mr Alhassan Tampuli said: “Per our investigations and the preliminary report also indicates that, we don’t have any reason to believe that anything has been put into the market. We are still monitoring,”
In a radio interview Wednesday morning on Accra FM, Mr Tampuli said even though BOST has sold the product to Movenpiina, the product is still “sitting in the BOST tanks. So it has not left the storage of BOST.”
“Some quantity have left the storage of BOST and we, using our tracking devices at NPA tracked the vehicles all the way to a facility and we went to that facility, and the management of Zup Oil were very cooperative.
“We wanted to find out the tracks that moved towards that location, what has happened to them. They took us to their storage, we verified that there is some stock there, we took samples, now what we are not able to confirm is the quantity certificate, or whether or not everything is there, but we have no reason to believe that the product has left the place unto the market.”
“So for now, we want to assure the motoring public that, the fear and anxiety that the product has hit the market is not well consistent with the facts that as we have verified,” he said.
The NPA acting CEO added: “So we want the general motoring public to be assured that there isn’t much to worry about, as it has now, as far as our monitoring is concerned, and our monitoring officers are on the ground, and at the right time if there is any new information that the public needs to know, we will let the public know,” he said.
Mr Tampuli said: “This product is good for some manufacturing companies. If you take it through some blending, you are able to sell it to those companies and they use it to run their factories, so it is not an entirely unusual transaction.
“What we want the public to know is that the fear that the product has ended up on the market is not well-grounded in fact, it is not.”
He added: “It is not an unusual thing to have service providers engaging in the business without licence. What happens is that when the NPA finds out, we go to operations and then we impose the necessary sanctions on those companies. That is what we do and so this case is not out of reality; it happens but we regularise them.
“On this occasion, Movenpiina and Zup Oil had applied to us for regularisation of their licences but we needed to do so in accordance with the law.”
In an earlier statement, the NPA said the two companies that purchased the over 5 million litres of contaminated fuel from BOST were not licensed to engage in that transaction.
According to the NPA, it will take legal action against the firms, whiles “it conducts further investigation to determine the actual quantity and quality of the products received at the facility of Zup Oil.”
“Additionally, the NPA has noted that, Movenpinaa Energy and Zup Oil are not licensed to undertake any commercial activity in the downstream petroleum industry. Their activities therefore infringes on section 11 of the National Petroleum Authority Act, ACT 691, 2005.
Meanwhile BOST has explained that the contamination of the about 5million litres of fuel occurred on January 18, 2017 and that it happened as a result of accidental mixture of petrol and diesel.
According to BOST the contamination happened before the current Managing Director, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng took over from his predecessor on January 23, 2017.
It said the staff involved in the accidental mixture were sanctioned appropriately.
The Minority in Parliament on Tuesday accused the Managing Director (MD) of BOST, Mr Alfred Obeng Boateng, of causing a financial loss of GHc14.25million loss to the state through the contamination of the 5 million litres of petrol and the subsequent sale of the product to a private company.
It therefore, called for the interdiction of Mr Obeng Boateng and a full scale investigation into the deal.
The Minority Spokesperson on energy, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, said the minority in Parliament had noted with grave concern the sale of contaminated fuel product to the tune of five million litres to a company known as Movenpiina by the MD of BOST “under very dubious and bizarre circumstances in another clear example of escalating corruption in the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government.”
He said even more disturbing was the explanation offered by BOST to justify the sale of this contaminated product as well as the circumstances surrounding the sale which clearly lacked transparency and integrity.
Responding to a call by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) for the Chief Executive Officer of BOST, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng to step aside for a full-scale investigation into the alleged sale of contaminated fuel, BOST defended its decision to sell off the contaminated or off-spec products to Movenpiina saying the move was the most prudent considering the potential loss in revenue.
“BOST sold the off-spec product GH c 1.30p per liter as against the normal ex-refinery rate of GH c1.75p for normal products. Thus 26 percent discount off the normal product and this is normal and acceptable practice in the industry”
“The assertion that, the off-spec product should have been sold at GH 2.50p is misleading because ex-refinery price and pump price are completely different. BOST only sells products at ex-refinery rate. BOST does not sell its products at ex-pump price so those who are quoting same should move away from that assertion,” the statement said.