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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

NPA To Streamline Bitumen Industry

Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid (middle) in a group photo with executives of both
SMB and NPA

MUSTAPHA Abdul-Hamid, Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), says the draft licensing framework and operational guidelines for efficient regulation of the bitumen industry in Ghana has been developed.

Currently, the bitumen market is not regulated.

It is to streamline the operations of bitumen marketers and to enable the NPA commence the process of regulating bitumen consumption that a committee was constituted in 2017

Dr Mustapha Hamid disclosed this when he paid a working visit to the Societe Multinationale de Bitumes (SMB) refinery in Cote D’Ivoire.

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Ghana imports its bitumen from SMB which produces, stores and trades about 47 per cent of the total bitumen consumed on the continent.

Over the years, SMB has held strategic partnerships with Total International and Vivo Energy through the importation of bitumen to the Ghana Market; and currently with Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) through a partnership to construct a 6,000 metric tonne bitumen processing plant in Tema.

He stated the visit was to experience at first-hand and understand the operations of the bitumen industry from the refinery all the way to the utilisation; as well as adopt best quality assurance practices to be implemented for use by bitumen facilities in Ghana.

The NPA boss expressed his appreciation to the newly appointed SMB Director General, Josephine Marie Sidebe, and emphasised that “besides the learning experience, the visit in a long run would be beneficial to both countries in strengthening the business ties between the two organisations.”

Dr. Abdul-Hamid also highlighted that the lessons from the visit would enable the downstream regulator to finalize all the existing draft frameworks and guidelines necessary for mainstreaming the bitumen industry in Ghana.

Mrs Sidebe, on her part, assured Ghana of the quality bitumen for road constructions, adding that, “SMB meets requirements of every country on the continent”.

“Unfortunately, most of the countries have different specifications. For Ghana, it’s about your requirements. If you require American standard, we will produce for you. So, we can produce both American and European specifications,” she added.

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