Business News of Saturday, 16 September 2017
The Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, has tasked the new Board of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) to intensify efforts to increase the strategic reserves of petroleum products in the country.
He maintains that failure to increase the stock of petroleum products in due time, could trigger price hikes.
In addition, BOST’s inability to supply enough fuel products will also compel consumers and industries alike to halt economic activities considering the key role of fuel on their operations.
The Minister’s comments were contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Energy Minister in charge of power, William Owuraku Aidoo during the inauguration of the Board for BOST on Friday, September 15, 2017.
The comment is also coming on the back of recent heavy storms in the USA; Irma and Harvey that have greatly affected the supply of petroleum products.
“BOST has the primary mandate to manage the strategic petroleum reserve and store as well as transport petroleum products at its depots located throughout Ghana. The importance of BOST’s role in Ghana’s economy and fuel security cannot be over emphasized.”
“In the absence of a national strategic reserve, a severe incidence of destabilization of fuel supply can bring most of the country’s economic activities to a halt and have implications for national security,” he added.
Per the law, BOST is expected to keep strategic reserves that will last up to 12 weeks minimum. Currently, some industry watchers say the institution has only six weeks’ store of supply of petroleum products.
This therefore makes increasing strategic reserves non-negotiable. The NPA has already warned of dire impacts on Ghana if prevailing situations do not change.
But the Deputy Energy Minister in charge of power, William Owuraku Aidoo is confident the new Board of BOST will work to avert any crisis.
Meanwhile, Mr. Agyarko wants the Board to commit to addressing what he describes as systemic challenges confronting the company’s operations. These include the institution’s indebtedness among others.
“I wish to charge you to use your expertise to resolve challenges such as; the huge debt portfolio arising from BOST’s past operations, inability to keep adequate stock of the national strategic petroleum reserves, owing to lack of funds as well as the absence of laboratories in the depots which has created bottlenecks for the analysis of the quality of products.”
The Board of BOST is chaired by Dr. Kwame Achampong-Kyei. Members include; Mr. Alfred Obeng (CEO), Mrs Angelina Baiden-Amissah and Mrs Joyce Agyeman Attafuah.
Others are; Mr. Kamal –Deen Abdulai, Hon, Djornobuah Alex Tetteh, Mr. Desmond Nartey, Mr. John Kweku Akyene Duncan as well as Nana Yaw Owusu Akwanuasa.