Ghana’s petroleum downstream will soon become a hub in the West African sub-region, Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko has said.
In line with that vision, the minister said the government will amend the NPA Act (Act 691) which he said does not take into consideration the transformation of the sector into a hub.
The minister made the comment at the opening of the petroleum downstream colloquium held in Accra Wednesday.
Attended by stakeholders in the sector, banking and other civil society institutions, the colloquium was to provide a platform for stakeholders to dialogue and to provide a better policy framework for the sector.
The theme for the colloquium is; “Ghana’s Petroleum Downstream, Then, Now and the Future.”
Before 2007, the year in which oil was struck in commercial quantities, Ghana’s petroleum industry featured prominently in the downstream sector.
From 2010 till now Ghana’s petroleum sector can be grouped into two- upstream and downstream sectors. The upstream sector deals primarily with exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas.
The downstream sector covers refining, storage, internal transportation, marketing and sale of petroleum products.
The Energy Minister, in addressing stakeholders, said a “refined petroleum products hub shall involve the introduction of new players in the import and export sub-sectors, infrastructure development and expansion, health, safety and security issues.”
He said the new downstream petroleum act will encompass the hub concept and shall incorporate issues of licensing, tariffs and charges in the downstream sector, construction and operation of downstream facilities and other financial transactions.
Contribution to Economy
The Chief Executive of the NPA Hassan Tampuli said the petroleum downstream sector “has evolved into a vibrant and dynamic industry with increased private sector participation.”
According to him, the sector has contributed over GHS46billion to Ghana’s GDP over the past four years, representing an average of about 10% per annum.
He said his outfit is committed to formulating and implementing innovative policies that will make the industry remain efficient and profitable.
Touting some of the successes chalked over the period, Mr Tampuli said Ghana is one of the few countries with low sulphur content, signaling a no more toxic fuel regime.
He also cited the automatic price adjustment formula, which he said is an improvement of the regulated price regime with unpaid subsidies.
“We have also come to a point where we are working towards delivering Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to consumers in a safer and more efficient manner using the Cylinder Recirculation model of LPG distribution,” he said.
Mr Tampuli also regretted the recent gas explosions which have claimed scores of lives and scarred many others.
He said they have intensified inspection and monitoring activities to ensure standards are adhered to.
As part of the way forward towards a better petroleum downstream, the NPA is promising the “Cylinder Recirculation model of LPG distribution will be implemented fully.
“The relevant licenses will be issued and safety protocols will be keenly observed to ensure the safety of the good people of Ghana, while increasing access to LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial use from the current 25% level to 50%,” he said.