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BOST saga: Gov’t rolls out Reforms; Bans Sale of Contaminated fuel to Unlicensed Companies

The Energy Ministry has announced reforms in the petroleum sector to deal with the discharge and sale of contaminated products.

Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, says the yearly contamination of large volumes of products presents a major challenge to the Ministry and has assured that the new measures will make it impossible for unlicensed companies to operate in the sale of contaminated fuel.

A key part of the reform involves a competitive tender process based on a transparent advertisement for the sale of the contaminated products.

“Only certified corporate entity that will be designated to buy contaminated products directly from BOST. No unlicensed company, individual or union member can trade in contaminated products henceforth,” the Minister announced at a press briefing Tuesday.

Boakye Agyarko
Related: BOST oil saga: Movenpinaa, Zup Oil ‘not licensed’; NPA to take legal action

The Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company Limited (BOST)) came under public criticism for selling five million litres of contaminated fuel to Movenpiina Company Limited, a company said to have been incorporated barely a month after it negotiated the deal and without a license the regulator, the National Petroleum Authority.

The public attacks compelled government to institute a probe into the transaction, however, the joint investigation by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and National Security found nothing wrong with BOST’s decision to sell the contaminated fuel to Movenpiina.

Addressing the presser on July 4, the Minister said the “contamination occurred on January 18, 2017 and the MD for BOST [Alfred Obeng] assumed office on January 23, 2017 and cannot be held responsible for it,” a view that many find unsatisfactory.

Meanwhile, investigation into the contentious transaction continues as a committee led by Dr Lawrence Darkwa, Head of Chemical Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has been tasked to review operations of BOST in a bid to prevent future contamination.

The committee has been given two weeks to recommend ways to avoid the perennial contamination of fuel at the company.