An Oil and Gas expert, Kwame Jantuah, is demanding sanctions the National Petroleum Authority for allowing into the country diesel with high levels of toxic sulphur chemicals.
It emerged weeks ago that Swiss firms have been exporting to Africa, diesel with toxin levels that are illegal in Europe. The diesel in some cases has 1,000 times more than sulphur than the limits allowed in Europe.
A report by campaign group, Public Eye, which made the revelation, blamed weak regulatory standards in the African continent as the cause of the toxic fuel trade.
Although the diesel meet Ghana’s quality standards, experts say it poses great risk to the health of consumers and causes vehicle engine breakdown.
But Mr Jantuah said there is the need for the NPA to be sanctioned as well as the various Oil Marketing Companies who are the importers to serve as a wake up call.
“They are the regulators and they should clean their house…we want to hear from them that these companies are sanctioned. When you sanction the NPA, then they also sanction these companies,” he demanded.
He underscored the importance of the Tema Oil Refinery in getting Ghana the right and quality fuel especially when the country has oil.
“When do we decide to produce oil our own way for ourselves as Ghanaians? So that if for nothing at all, all the amounts of money we take out there to import these oils can be used for ourselves,” he wondered.
He did not understand why Ghana is not taking advantage of the viability of TOR, which is strategically located considering that the Gulf of Guinea is filled with oil, is not expanded.
“We can take advantage of this and expand our refinery these countries will bring their oil for us to refine. We can make foreign exchange; we can use that money to maintain this refinery, he said.
Africa must up the standards
Meanwhile, the International Energy Service (IES) has reiterated the need for the National Petroleum Authority and the Ghana Standard Authority to upgrade the percentage of sulphur in Ghana’s oil to internationally accepted standards.
“We have realized that what we used in the calculation over the years is zero point zero one that’s 1000 PPM. So if the regulator decides that OTTS and BDCS should bring in 1000 PPM, then its feasible. TOR can do the refining” Principal research analyst with IES, Richmond Rockson said.
He said it was imperative for the Africa Refiners Association to spearhead a discussion on the standards for the continent, noting “Every country is concerned about the climate and the environment so we must continue engaging stakeholders till we reach the quality that is accepted.
By Grace Asare|3 FM|3news.com|Ghana