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The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has deepened its surveillance on contaminated fuel on the Ghanaian market through the introduction of the second phase of the Petroleum Product Marking Scheme (PPMS).
The marker, known as the LSX3000 equipment, has been uniquely designed for the Ghanaian market with a chemical composition that aids quantification and detection of adulterated fuel.
NPA’s CEO, Mr Alhassan Tampuli, at the unveiling of the equipment, said the LSX3000 equipment stores all data, in an encrypted form, and is tailored to restrict unlawful access.
Stakeholders in the downstream petroleum sector can clearly see either a Pass or Fail result when the equipment is used.
The marker concentration is however stored internally in the field device and the data transmitted in real time to a cloud system. The reason according to the NPA, is to deter individuals including staff of NPA from altering the test results.
Ghana lost a total of GHc1.6 billion to illicit petroleum trade from 2015 to 2017.
But the NPA notes that the national consumption of petroleum products, which saw a six percent decline in 2016, has been on the increase since 2017, recording a 16 percent increase in 2018 due to intensified measures put in place to curb the menace of fuel adulteration.
Survey results obtained from September 2013 to December 2019, indicate a drop in reported proportional petroleum adulteration volumes from 32 percent to 1.99 percent.
The drop is attributed to sustained successful marking and field monitoring, with the drop in rate violations translating to an estimated revenue recovery of GHc249 million.
The introduction of petroleum marking, which began in 2013, involves the introduction of a biochemical liquid (fuel marker) to detect if the product is adulterated.
The Phase II of the PPMS will see the NPA improve upon its sustained successful marking and field monitoring of marked petroleum products; a reduction in retail outlet failure rate, which is indicative of the decrease in malpractices in distribution and sale of petroleum products; improvement in stakeholder awareness in furtherance of the NPA’s medium term strategy; a significant reduction in fuel tax revenue loss and subsidy abuse; and an improvement in quality of products at retail outlets for consumers of petroleum products.
Stakeholders in the downstream petroleum industry including the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) and the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) at the unveiling, pledged their willingness to fully support the product marking scheme to succeed.
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