New System To Check Fuel Adulteration Introduced

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has introduced a new programme, the Petroleum Products Marking Scheme (PPMS), to combat fuel adulteration and cross-border smuggling of petroleum products.

The concept involves the introduction of a bio-chemical liquid, also known as fuel marker, into the petroleum products at the loading depots prior to the delivery of the products to the retail outlets.

The marker creates a “fingerprint” and provides a secure, tamper-proof method of authentication.

The successful implementation of the programme will ensure that consumers of petroleum products in the country get clean and unadulterated fuel.

Quality and value for money

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Accra Monday, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, said fuel adulteration was a global problem that posed a major challenge to both industry and regulators.

According to him, a section of the petroleum industry that indulged in adulteration cheated consumers out of what they were paying for, harmed the reputation of a fuel retailer’s brand and cost the government millions of cedis in revenue each year.

Adulteration, he explained, was not limited to diesel and kerosene alone, saying gasoline adulteration with premix fuel was a common practice as a result of the significant price differentials between the two products.

“We are happy to learn that the PPMS will discourage this practice of diversion which is detrimental to our effort at building a just and fair society,” Mr Buah said.

Programme implementation

The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority, Mr Moses Asaga, for his part, said the introduction of the PPMS was a demonstration of the government’s commitment to improve standards in the petroleum downstream industry.

The PPMS, he said, had been on trial since February 2013, adding that the trial phase had been successful and the scheme was now due for full implementation.

“The launch will commence the full implementation of the programme, in full accordance with Legislative Instrument (LI) 2187. This means that, where applicable, sanctions will apply to defaulting petroleum service providers,” he announced.

The LI 2187, he said, provided punitive sanctions such as fines, imprisonment or both, saying that was to send a signal to the industry that the age-old practice of adulteration and diversion of subsidised petroleum products would no longer be tolerated.