The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) has organized a field tour for some journalists in the Northern Region to its operational areas in the region to have a fair knowledge of its operations.
The Northern Region depot, which is located at Buipe in the Central Gonja District, supplies petroleum products to the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and some parts of the Brong Ahafo regions. It currently under went some upgrading for efficient functioning.
The maintenance works, which started in November 2013, was expected to be completed in September 2014 to enable petroleum products be supplied directly from its mother station in Tema. Mr Fred Ayamga, BOST Manager for the Buipe Depot who briefed the media at Buipe on Friday said the depot has a capacity of 50 million liters with seven tanks and stressed that out of the total capacity, 37 million liters was diesel while 13 million was petrol.
He said the depot receives its consignment from its mother company in Tema in the Greater Accra Region either through the Volta Lake or by road where a barge and tankers were used respectively and then supplied to the market. He explained that when the products were received, its temperature, density, water and pressure were checked to ensure that it met the standard before discharging and same was done before supplying the product to the market.
Mr Ayamga indicated that demand for petroleum products have increased drastically to 30 million liters per month and 800,000 liters per day explaining that since the depot was not operating, the Oil Marketing Companies take their deliveries from Tema instead of the Buipe depot.
Mr Ayamga said enough safety guidelines have been put in place to prevent any disaster including fire outbreaks at the installation. Mr Salifu Nat Acheampong, Corporate Communications Manager of BOST said the company was not to blame for the recent fuel shortages that hit the country. He promised that the company would open its doors more to the media in order to establish good rapport for a mutual benefit. Mr Benjamin Kwabena Wilson, Manager of Volta Lake Transport Company said there were usually two barges that were used to lift petroleum products from Tema to Buipe and spends eight days carrying a total of 830,000 liters each and pumped to the depot for onward supply.
At the Savelugu Booster Station, Mr John Azugu, Station Representative told the media that the pipeline was 261 kilometers from Buipe to Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region and that the booster station was set up to augment speedy and quantity supply to Bolga.
He said transferring petroleum products through the pipeline was cheaper and cost effective, because the pipes were buried underground, leakages and tempering with the supply was minimal.
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) has begun an expansion programme on its oil storage facilities throughout the country to commence a comprehensive commercialization programme.
The systems when fully upgraded is expected to make the Saharan countries the number one target markets and serve as the main supply point for bulk oil purchase by oil companies operating in the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.
This came to light when a team of officials from the company’s Head Office led by Mr Salifu Nat Acheampong, Corporate Communications Manager of the Company took journalists round one of the depot in Bolgatanga where operations have stalled for about five years.
According to Mr Acheampong, the new BOST is expected to be the leading logistics company in Ghana and would this time be more efficient, be able to adequately manage losses, reduce man contact and establish larger automation systems to improve the overall performance of the company.
He said the new BOST when fully in operation by the close of the year, would create job avenues for the people in the Upper East Region because it is expected that more of the oil companies both local and foreign would establish their offices within these Depot jurisdictions and employ more of the people.
He praised the new Management Board of the company for their outstanding determination to get things working for the growth of the company and said government which is the sole shareholder is prepared to support the management team to bring the necessary growth through the expansion programme.
The Corporate Communications Manager reiterated the advantages in upgrading the system and said it would reduce transportation cost of carting oil products from the various depots dotted in the country, especially those cited in northern Ghana and improve trade among oil companies both local and international. It would also build a better business environment between Ghana and other neighbouring countries.
Mr Acheampong indicated that as part of its urge to be a leading logistics company in Ghana in the next two years, his outfit has coded the upgrading programme ‘operation 24’, which would guide the company’s management to pursue its vision in the next 24 months.
The Bolgatanga Depot Manager, Reverend Eddison Coffie, indicated that the Depot could store up to 46,500,000 liters of gasoline and diesel, adding that, the facility has two storage tanks for the former and five for the latter.
He said the expansion work would replace pumps with higher capacities to facilitate pumping of oil products faster, adding that, the expansion programme would increase supply from about 60 tankers to about 200 tankers daily.
Mr Kingsley Kwame Awuah Darko (middle), the Managing Director of BOST, addressing a press conference in Accra. Those with him are Mr Kakara Essamuah (right), Chairman, Board of BOST, and Dr Albert Akpalu, a board member.
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company has explained that its decision to outsource the management of its petroleum storage facilities within the Accra Plains Depot to a private company is in the interest of the nation.
The Managing Director of BOST, Mr Kingsley Kwame Awuah Darko, said the move had become necessary to save a failing strategic national asset from collapsing.
BOST has signed a one-year agreement with TSL Logistics Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of a Nigerian company, to manage its Accra Plains Depot on a pilot basis.
Speaking at a media briefing in Accra Wednesday, Mr Awuah Darko said contrary to reports, the bulk distribution companies (BDCs) did not have the capacity to perform the role for which the TSL had been engaged.
The TSL, he explained, was not a BDC but rather a company that specialised in terminal management.
He said that notwithstanding, “BDCs are important stakeholders in our business, and it is our desire and vision that the kind of BOST that we will deliver in the next few months, the BDCs will come out and thank the Almighty God and the management and board for the efficiency that we will inject into BOST”.
According to him, the TSL was authorised by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to operate in the country.
Even before the agreement was signed, there were backstage attempts to foil it, which failed but that did not quiet the controversy between BOST and some BDCs and the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (GCBOD) now, Mr Awuah Darko said.
The Chief Executive Officer of GCBOD, Mr Senyo Hosi, at a press conference last week, called for the suspension of the deal but that appeared to be too late.
Mr Awuah Darku, therefore, indicated that BDCs interested in the contract should prepare and apply after the expiration of the 12 months given the Nigerian company.
Rationale for engaging TSL
“All BOST facilities operationally have become anaemic, suffering from ineffective inventory management, poor maintenance of existing facilities, high risk health, safety and environmental management, and low morale among staff”, Mr Darko stated and explained that its deal with TSL was, therefore, to reinvigorate the company which had been grappling with operational and financial challenges.
The country requires at least a six-week reserve which is 356,000 metric tons.
“In spite of that, BOST’s total capacity is below that which means that we have to plan for the future to make sure there is allowance in capacity. We have to increase our capacity by doubling it between now and 2016 bearing in mind we have to support the Sahalian market with our infrastructure”, he stated.
“In September, 2013, there was so much trauma in BOST such that BDCs refused to take products into the BOST system.
“Infact, the situation was so bad that the BDCs were prepared to pay $14 per metric ton with the private sector tank farms than pay $9 with BOST. That is the kind of BOST we are trying to transform,” Mr Darku stated.
Currently, only 27 per cent of BOST’s $1 billion capacity is operational, Mr Darko said, adding that the new management and board had a plan to progressively increase the capacity of BOST from its current capacity to about 95 per cent by 2015.
Objectives of the restructuring
A successful implementation of BOST-TSL deal, according to Mr Darko would stabilise the price of petroleum products across the country.
He said, it would also improve the country’s reserve and prepare it against shortages.
Credit: Graphic Online
An eight member board of directors was sworn in by Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum on Friday 14th February 2014.
The board is made up of Mr. Ernest B. Kakra Essamuah (Chairman); Mr. Kingsley Kwame Awuah Darko(Managing Director);
Mr. Kojo Amissah(Member); Mr. Kofi I. Adams (Member); Dr. Albert K. Akpelu Jnr(Member);Mrs. Comfort N.L Ahwoi (Member); Mr. Steven K. M. Ahiawador (Member) and Dr. Alfred A. Botchway.
During the ceremony, Mr.Buah Commended the members on their nomination; he also challenged them to harness their expertise to make decisions for the benefit of Ghanaians as a whole.
He further tasked the members to amongst other things popularise the use of LPG in rural areas in order to promote the conservation of nature;protect strategic depots and pipelines to safeguard the transportation of petroleum products as well as urged the use of barges through the Volta Lake as an alternative means of transport for petroleum products so as to reduce cost…..