The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana has urged the National Petroleum Authority and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to, as a matter of urgency, put in place measures that will arrest the incidence of fuel adulteration.
CoPEC demands come after an explosion involving a number of fuel tankers rocked the Kpone Enclave last night.
Over 15 fuel tankers are believed to have been affected in the explosion purported to be emanating from some illegal fuel boxing or adulteration activities within the said yard.
According to COPEC, its Intelligence sources indicate the blast had been occasioned by some illegal activities resulting from the boxing some premix fuel with PMS and AGO using manual pumps in the process.
“While this unfortunate practice of mixing or adulteration of fuels is heavily frowned upon and sanctions should be strict and severe, recent developments suggest very little has been achieved in that regard,” COPEC said in a statement.
According to Duncan Amoah, the Executive Security of COPEC, reports of premix fuel diversions abound and he expects authorities to clamp down heavily on these operators who are engaged in this illegal trade of diverting premix fuel meant for fishing boats, to some tank yards to be adulterated with other petroleum products for onward sale and discharge at some specific fuel stations.
The latest fire, he said, the incident only further exposes how profound the adulteration of products continues to be a major headache confronting both the authorities and Ghanaian consumers.
A recently launched industry report by the CBOD estimates that about Ghc 2.7 billion of revenues due the state had been lost to these illegal operators within the past 3 years.
“It is thus our expectation that the state will go after these operators to clamp down on such activities to forestall any further revenue loses to the state.
The practice of diverting and adulterating fuel products not only deprives the state of the much-needed revenues but also puts consumers at a very high risk of developing all manner of mechanical and transmission challenges with their vehicles as the resultant products are usually far below the acceptable minimum national specifications and standards.
Whiles, we believe proper investigations will be carried out at the said tank yard, we will want to see perpetrators of such criminal practices of diverting and adulteration of petroleum products brought to book immediately to serve as a deterrent to others engaged in this illegal trade.
“We further call on the NPA and the Ghana Standards Authority to immediately conduct an audit trail of all such products sent to some of these tanker yards and the fuel stations that buy or patronize such products in order to protect the unsuspecting public from the harm adulteration does to our engines as any attempts to cover or protect the perpetrators will be countenanced,” the statement read.