The Ministry of Energy under which large quantities of contaminated fuel (dirty oil) were reportedly released by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Limited to private companies for distribution.
BOST is currently embroiled in a scandal that it has discharged five million litres of dirty oil onto the market after selling the consignment to Movenpiina Limited.
The committee’s responsibility is to advise the ministry on the necessary technical, administrative and legal actions to be taken with regards to the matter, which has attracted much public attention.
It has been given one month to come out with its findings, with five mandates.
It is to ascertain what caused the adulteration of the fuel, review the procedures undertaken by BOST to evacuate the product, as well as ascertain the quality and remaining quantity of the product.
Boakye Agyarko, Energy Minister, made the announcement of the formation of the committee yesterday at Big Ada in the Greater Accra Region on the sidelines of the inauguration of an Advisory Committee for the ministry.
Mr Boakye Agyarko said the committee would comprise representatives from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Chamber of Bulk Distributors (CBDs), Association of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), Energy Commission, as well as a representative from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
The minister rejected calls for the Managing Director of BOST, Alfred Obeng Boateng, to step aside for a full-scale investigation into the incident.
According to him, it would be prejudicial to determine whether the boss of BOST should be interdicted or not since the committee is yet to come out with its report.
The committee has also been tasked to determine if the product could be corrected; if not, determine the alternative use for the product and review the transaction.
It is expected to advise the ministry on the necessary technical administrative and legal actions to be taken.
Mr Boakye Agyarko said the ministry’s attention was drawn to the various media reports on the issue of the release of five million litres of off-sec fuel from the Accra Plains Depot of the BOST, adding, “We have received report of the preliminary investigations conducted by the NPA on the issue.”
He maintained that the committee would come out with facts devoid of speculations to enable the ministry deal with the matter.
A total of 5 million litres of fuel product were declared off-spec after going through an in-house technical assessment and laboratory test by the Tema Oil Refinery.
The Energy Ministry noted that BOST had so far evacuated a total of 471,000 litres of the said product but had suspended the evacuation in compliance with NPA’s instructions.
The ministry assured the public that it was “determined to ensure that the integrity of the quality of petroleum products supplied in the country is protected.”
BOST has since the incident insisted that not a single drop of the alleged dirty oil had found its way onto the market, although Senyo Hosi, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, claimed it had been distributed and even warned the public on social media platform – Facebook – to beware of the contaminated fuel which he said was being sold at the Tema enclave.
The fuel was sold to Movepiina Limited which attracted a lot of speculations and accusations, with ACEP, COPEC-GH and the Minority in Parliament pressing for the BOST MD to resign.
However, some staff of BOST claim the controversy surrounding the contaminated fuel deal was being fueled by insiders to cover up financial malfeasance under the previous management.
The NPA has already sealed the tanks at Zupoil’s depot where the supposed contaminated fuel products had been stored at Golf City, near Tema, to allow for investigations into the whole saga.
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