The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) has begun the re-export of refined petroleum products to some landlocked countries.
Last month, the company delivered about 70-long fuel tankers of refined products to Mali and is on the verge of tapping into other markets of other landlocked countries.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Takoradi yesterday, the Managing Director of BOST, Mr Edwin Provencal, said: “I must say that the repair of the Bolgatanga Depot was critical to the success story.
“The Bolga Depot could be leveraged for re-export of petroleum products just like in Singapore where re-export contributes greatly to the country’s GDP.
“With the Bolga depot we can go beyond Burkina to Mali and other landlocked countries, and we can bring in about 20 times Ghana’s demand and meet the demands of landlocked neighbours, using Bolga,” he said.
Mr Provencal is part of a team accompanying the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, on a familiarisation tour of the Western Region.
The BOST MD said in a bid to meet in-country demands and the quest to satisfy the high demand from the landlocked countries, the company has revamped and doubled its storage capacity at the Bolgatanga Depot and has begun the re-export of refined products to Burkina-Faso and other countries.
Also, he said in achieving success and ensuring that the country benefitted, the company set out to audit its asset base to guarantee petroleum product security and price stability across the country.
“In 2017, we found out that in terms of our infrastructure, available readiness to support our operations stood at 18 per cent which is inadequate.”
Mr Provencal said through strategic partnership and commitment to improving the downstream transportation and management of bulk stock, the company was set to invest $1billion in the next five years.
He said the company, which since 2012, did not record any profit but had been saddled with debt, would for the first time in as many years, post profit of about GH¢30-million through prudent management.
Listing BOST’s assets, Mr Provencal said they included 51 storage tanks across the country, of which only 36 were working and 15 completely out of service.
“Again our three major pipelines, linking Accra to Akosombo and then Buipe to the Bolga, and the line connecting the sea, were challenged.
He said Buipe to Bolga and Tema to Akosombo were offline, and the only pipeline working was the CDM and its marine infrastructure such as the barges, which were also not operational and needed to be revamped to ensure easy and cost-efficient transport of products to the northern part of the country.
“Our barges for marine transport and the pipelines were out of service, — our four barges, the tugboats and the floating dock for maintenance — were all out of service as of 2017, therefore, 100 per cent of our marine assets were out of service,” he said.
He said aside from the barges and others, about 70 per cent of the pipelines were out of service and the rest were not enough to support its operations.
Mr Provencal said the situation was such that 100 per cent of the country’s products were hauled by road, which made BOST delivery of products across the country an uphill task and extremely expensive.
Mr Provencal explained that the low utilisation of assets and lack of maintenance was due to the abysmal BOST’s margin, which since 2011 was kept at 3 pesewas and was woefully inadequate for the upkeep of the facilities.
“We decided to turn things around in order to reduce the price at the pump, and the need to use the cheapest source operations by bringing the pipelines, barges and the tugboats up and running.
“As a result of repairing its marine infrastructure and improve pipelines, we have succeeded in reducing the road haulage of products by more than 40 per cent and we are working to make it even better,” he said.
Citing an instance, the BOST MD said that after fixing the four barges and other supporting infrastructure, when the product arrived at Buipe, it was transported through the pipelines to the Bolga depot.
He further said more than ever, the company was committed to its mandate by developing a network of storage tanks, pipelines and other bulk transportation infrastructure across the country and to generate income.
He emphasised that the future of the country’s downstream was bright and that it would tap into the markets in other countries.
Mr Provencal gave an assurance that BOST’s successful recovery story would lead to the transformation of the industry in the country and that after fixing the system, management would ensure that its projects across the country in Pumpuni and Atwiniboadah. among others, were also revisited.