New Law In The Offing For Fuel Distribution – Energy Minister

The Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, has announced that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is drafting regulations to cover crude oil and petroleum product supply and quality control.

Mr Agyarko said any service provider, who would go contrary to the new law, will upon summary conviction, be fined up to 15,000 penalty units or imprisoned for up to five years.

He said licences of such defaulting service providers could also be withdrawn after the conviction.

The Minister made the announcement in Parliament on Thursday while responding to questions posed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Pru East, Dr Kwabena Donkor and the NDC MP for Bongo, Edward Bawa on measures being put in place to ensure that laws, regulations and guidelines on specifications for petroleum products are complied with to ensure the protection of consumers at the pumps.

The Minister said currently there are two measures in place to ensure consumer product quality and protection of consumers at the final dispensing point.

“These measures are quality checks on imported products and the petroleum product marking scheme,” he said.

He said quality certificate from the loading port is checked for compliance with national standards, adding that quality certificate based on test conducted an independent laboratory at least 24 hours before discharge is checked for compliance with national standards.

“Random samples are drawn from storage tanks of Bulk Supply Points during unannounced visits by the authority from time to time and the samples with national standards,” the Minister noted.

According to the Energy Minister, products that are not compliant with national standards are not allowed onto the market.

Touching on the petroleum product marking scheme, the Minister said, “Petroleum products at the retail outlets are tested during random monitoring following customer complaints for compliance with marker concentration”

The Minister told Parliament that special monitoring policies such as tracking of Bulk Road Vehicle (BRV) have been put in place for the transportation or lifting or naphtha, condensate, low tax or subsidized and export products to prevent the diversion of the products to retail outlets.

He said sanctions would be slapped on Oil Marketing Companies which do not comply with the NPA’s marker concentration, stressing that the national security agencies were collaborating to curb the dumping of substandard or unauthorized products onto the market.