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IES, COPEC accuse Sentuo Oil Refinery of selling unwholesome products; threaten to drag NPA, GSA to court

Source The Ghana Report

The Institute for Energy Security (IES) and the Chamber for Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) are accusing Chinese firm, Sentuo Oil Refinery for flooding the Ghanaian fuel market with unwholesome petroleum products in contravention of national fuel specifications, and all laid down regulations, licenses and permits pertaining to the country’s downstream petroleum market.

According to the two energy think tanks,  the out-of-specification products are reported to causing damage to vehicles and machinery with key oil marketing brands struggling to find ways to dislodge these products, with some compelled to shut down dispensing pumps, while the regulator – the National Petroleum Authrity (NPA) – looks on helpless.

In a statement, they called on the Special Prosecutor to investigate the activities of the Sentuo Oil Refinery leading up to unspecified and sub-standard petroleum products finding their way into the Ghanaian petroleum market.

“The IES and COPEC also call on the President [Akufo-Addo] to dedicate to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) the same time and energy as it is doing for Sentuo, even though it has not acquired all necessary permits and licenses to operate in the oil refinery and marketing space, resulting in out-of-specification products seeping into the Ghanaian market”.

“Finally, the IES and COPEC wish to serve notice that they will not hesitate to equally drag the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) and the National Petroleum Authority to the law courts in the coming days if the current menace is not immediately addressed”, they added.

They continued that these worrying developments by the Sentuo Oil Refinery in pumping sub-standard products onto the Ghanaian market, if left to continue could see a surge in malfunctioning engines, particularly in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, and the three Northern regions as a larger bulk of these bad products are believed to have been trucked to these regions.

“In line with the provision of the NPA Act 2005 (Act 691), the Licensing Department of NPA as part of its mandates is enjoined to issue permits and licenses to various Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs) that reflect the activities covered within a specified service area, and also to maintain a register on licenses and permits issued to various categories of PSP”s”, they mentioned.

“However, the IES and COPEC can confirm that aside from the construction permit granted the Chinese Sentuo Oil refinery, no other license has been issued to warrant Sentuo to commence oil processing, trading, and marketing; in clear contravention of established national laws and acts”, they alluded.

Again, they pointed out that “The Sentuo Oil Refinery as IES and COPEC have it today, has failed to collaborate with the Inspection and Monitoring Department of the NPA to acquire the necessary permits, and develop the necessary checklists for the inspection of the refinery facility, yet last month the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo joyously proceeded to commission the refinery, even as the state oil refinery is left in its ailing and distressed state”.

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