The Petroleum Minister, Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has proposed to the Ghana Chemical Society (GCS), to conduct research aimed at extending the shelf life of petroleum products as a way of improving the effectiveness of strategic stock for the country.
He also urged the society to consider the development of more efficient ways of turning petroleum into automotive or aviation fuel as well as develop new products from petroleum feedstock or improve feedstock blends. The Minister made these proposals in a keynote address delivered on his behalf at the opening of the 18th Annual Conference and General Meeting of the GCS at the University of Cape Coast.
The two-day conference, on the theme “Overcoming Ghana’s Energy and Environmental Challenges; the Role of the Chemist” offered members an opportunity to deliberate extensively on the problems facing Chemists.
Mr. Buah asked the GCS to also “consider monitoring quality and increased production yields at existing sites, explore potential new sites for drilling activities as well as characterize petroleum such that the origin of oil illegally acquired or leaked in a spill could be traced.”
He stressed the need for the GCS to come up with roadmaps on the moving of frontiers of the country’s petroleum industry, especially in the petrochemicals, oil refineries and improvement, fuel and lubricant quality and environmental-friendliness.
He said the petroleum industry needs scientists such as chemical engineers, physical chemists, bio chemists, geochemists among others as well as experts in tracer chemistry and informatics, and highlighted the various crucial roles they played.
Mr. Buah said complying with environmental regulations was essential to the industry, a reason scientists must always be aware of how a process or product will affect the environment and how that impact can be minimized.
In order to manage the environmental effect of products, the chemist society should engage stakeholders in the industry with the view to leveraging on the weakness of the industry players to make advancement in the industry.
He stressed the need for teamwork among chemists and also with other professionals, such as chemical engineers, physicists, lawyers and economists.
Dr. Samuel Osafo-Acquah, President of the society, in his welcoming address, called on the Government, to among other things, further develop palm oil and cassava, and pledged the support of the society to play its role effectively to facilitate the country’s development.