Editorial : OMCs, BDCs in peril

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Global crude and refined product price fluctuations is causing distress and taking a heavy toll on Ghana’s downstream markets, resulting in Bulk Oil Distributors losing millions of dollars, and throwing many indigenous Oil Marketing Companies out of business.

Out of the 130 oil marketing companies operating in the country, 50 – according to estimates – are said to be financially challenged; thus hampering their ability to lift and sell petroleum products from Bulk Oil Distributors on a regular basis.

The development is cause to worry, and needs urgent government attention before indigenous oil marketing companies are wiped out of the sector due to financial challenges. The outbreak of COVID-19 is pushing oil prices down and resulting in cheaper petroleum products here in Ghana, Africa, and some parts of the world.

Additionally, the trade war among world superpowers is greatly affecting pricing of the commodity and OPEC’s indecision adds to the frustration. Many jobs will be on the line if care is not taken and that is the worry of people like the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs), Kwaku Agyeman Duah who is therefore calling for a national dialogue to find ways of cushioning indigenous players in the sector.

With such dynamics at play which go beyond the borders of our country, perhaps this is the time to explore the use and growing importance of electric cars as a means to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases.

There are a number of great benefits to electric vehicles (EVs) over conventional petrol/diesel cars. Owners of an EV have the advantage of much lower running costs. The electricity to charge an EV works out around a third as much per kilometre as buying petrol for the same vehicle.

There is relatively little servicing and no expensive exhaust systems, starter motors, fuel injection systems, radiators and many other parts that aren’t needed in an EV. By choosing to drive an EV you are helping to reduce harmful air pollution from exhaust emissions. An EV has zero exhaust emissions.

Reduced harmful exhaust emissions is good news for our health. Better air quality will lead to less health problems and costs caused by air pollution.

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