Premix arrangement needs a complete overhauling – COPEC

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The Council of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) says the country’s premix arrangement needs a complete review and a complete overhauling.

According to the Council, the current system in practice is simply prone to such corrupt diversions and retrading.

It argues that premix fuel has become a lucrative business for those in the supply chain because of the difference in real market price and how much it is subsidized.

The Council’s statement follows recent reports that over 200 trucks of premix fuel were diverted.

According to the Council, this leaves it “wondering whether indeed there is any effective tracking system in place as has been variously suggested by authorities all this while with the very recent one being a further assurance from the sector Minister of banning of individuals from any further loading of contaminated products except for BOST using BRVs fitted with tracking devices.”

The Council, therefore, wants “the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to step up efforts at eliminating the excesses in this current premix arrangement that only serve as a cash cow for the handlers of the system.”

“We further call for an immediate audit of all the liftings done within the period in question and if possible extend beyond the current year to unearth all possible diversion conduits and punish same immediately,” it added.

Below is COPEC’s statement

Premix diversion: Halt the talk and punish the crooks damaging our engines 

The news of the diversions of over 200 trucks of pre-mix products meant for the engines of the fishermen in our fishing communities across the country is one that leaves most consumers of petroleum products in the country much more anxious about the sort of products they are being served at some pumps in the country.

Premix fuel is a subsidised product that attracts lower charges than the traditional white petroleum products of petrol and diesel, premix is a blend of pms or petrol to a portion of auto lubricants to achieve the needed viscosity for the engines of fishing boats and vessels.

The idea behind blending to achieve premix at subsidised market rates lower than pump prices of the two white products has primarily been to augment fishing activities in the country but seem no longer useful from the way the programme has been handled over the period.

A blend of 25 litres of pms or petrol and a litre of auto lubricants is often applied to achieve the needed viscosity.

This product can, however, be easily reblended back to pms if the right volumes of petrol is added to the subsidised premix meant for fishing.

It thus comes to us as no surprise that those who know the alternate value and use of the premix product will use every means necessary to divert the products for higher resale value at certain fuel stations who agree to compromise.

The news of the diversions whose end point we unable to determine as of this day and time indeed poses a danger to the engines of the unsuspecting public who buy fuel from some of the compromised outlets.

It is our belief that the whole premix arrangement needs a complete review and a complete overhauling, the current system in practice is simply prone for such corrupt diversions and retrading as the difference in real market price and how much we subsidise for, makes for a lucrative business for those in the supply chain.

The issue of the whereabouts of the over 200 trucks of diverted pre-mix further leaves us wondering whether indeed there is any effective tracking system in place as has been variously suggested by authorities all this while with the very recent one being a further assurance from the sector Minister of banning of individuals from any further loading of contaminated products except for BOST using BRVs fitted with tracking devices.

One wonders why after over 3 years of introducing tracking systems in the petroleum downstream the country is still having challenges telling when and where products loaded for specific destinations eventually ended at and further enforces our long-held suspicions that marked and bad products not meant for our engines still find its way to some pumps without any effective checks and tracking in place.

We call on the National Petroleum Authority to step up efforts at eliminating the excesses in this current premix arrangement that only serve as a cash cow for the handlers of the system.

We further call for an immediate audit of all the liftings done within the period in question and if possible extend beyond the current year to unearth all possible diversion conduits and punish same immediately.

Signed

Duncan Amoah

Executive Secretary

Copec Ghana

Credit: B&FT

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