Downstream Petroleum Sector Grew 15% In 2018 – NPA

Hassan Tampuli (right), Vice-President Dr Bawumia and Dr Amin Adam

THE PETROLEUM downstream sector saw a 15% surge in the consumption of petroleum products from 3.4 million metric tonnes in 2017 to 3.9 million metric tonnes in 2018.

This was occasioned by efforts invested into fighting illicit fuel activities.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Petroleum Authority, Hassan Tampuli, who disclosed this at the ongoing 3rd edition of the Ghana International Petroleum Conference (GhIPCon) 2019, said the petroleum sector contributed over GH¢86 billion to Ghana’s GDP representing an average of about 8% per annum in the period 2013 to 2018.

These successes, he explained, were achieved despite the many challenges the petroleum industry faces. Some of the challenges he enumerated included “smuggling via unapproved offshore routes; dumping of Gasoil declared for sale to foreign vessels at local filling stations; under-declaration and non-declaration of products lifted at depots; diversion of subsidized social products such as premix fuel, as well as fraudulent freight claims from some transporters and siphoning LPG from BRVS into surface tanks at illegal LPG tank”.

These “nefarious activities” he added, cost Ghana “about $200 million per annum of tax revenue; compromising on product quality at filling stations due to laundering which leads to damage to vehicle engines; and distortion of the national consumption statistics (over 300,000Mt of actual annual consumption was unreported).

He also said that the “Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) also recorded about USD12million losses per annum”.

 Mr. Tampuli mentioned that the NPA had “rolled out a series of measures to tackle the problem heads on, in collaboration with the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Navy and other relevant security agencies in the country”, and intensified “digital solutions such as enterprise relational database management software, petroleum products marking scheme and bulk road vehicle tracking project”.

On his part, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia attributed the growth in the downstream petroleum sector to government’s deregulation policy.

“The investment has been championed by the private sector which is mostly dominated by a growing number of indigenous Ghanaian companies.

“For instance, over the past eight years, the industry has grown from a total of eight (8) bulk distribution companies (BDCs) to 35. The number of oil marketing companies (OMCs) has grown from eight one (81) to one hundred and fifteen (115),” he said.

Dr. Bawumia also mentioned that as of May 2019, there were 19 companies providing support services for the sector in areas such as tank calibration, underground storage tank (UST) and Above Storage Tank (AST) cleaning, Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), among others.

Deputy Minister of Energy Dr. Amin Adam said government through the Energy Ministry and NPA was taking steps to focus on transforming the petroleum downstream sector from its present state “towards government’s vision of making Ghana a hub for refined petroleum products in the West Africa region.”