The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has inaugurated an ultra-modern Bulk Road Vehicle (BRV) parking terminal and rest-room for tanker drivers at Kpone in the Kpone Katamanso Municipality.
The 950 parking terminal, which commenced in 2014, cost the NPA GH¢100,000 to construct and was to provide a safe and decent parking terminal – aimed at eliminating the safety risk posed by indiscriminate parking of tankers (BRVs) along the roads leading to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and other Depots.
Minister of Energy, Mr. Peter Amewu, who was represented by Mr. Isaac Osei, Managing Director of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), commended the NPA for such a laudable initiative.
He said government is committed to ensuring a regular supply of petroleum products to all parts of the country through a cost-effective and efficient distribution system.
However, is not exciting that about 98% of petroleum products used in the country is moved by road transport, which comes with some significant constraints.
He explained that road transport of petroleum products involves high cost, acceleration of the wear and tear on existing road infrastructure from heavy vehicular movement, and increases in road accidents.
He indicated the importance to the country of developing other modes of transport – like rail, water and pipelines – to be integrated into the distribution system and enhance its effectiveness and efficiency.
The sector minister however noted that government took up the challenge of the Volta Lake Transport Company’s limited capacity to transport petroleum products via the Volta Lake to northern parts of the country.
He further stated that rehabilitation or replacement of pipelines from Tema to Akosombo will be given due attention and consideration.
Mr. Amewu therefore commended the Tanker Owners Union and Tanker Drivers Union respectively for their invaluable contribution to petroleum products in the downstream sector.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPA, Mr. Alhasan Tampuli, said construction of the parking terminal demonstrates their commitment to improving standards in the petroleum sector, after battling for space to park their tankers over the past few years in Tema and other areas. According to him, the parking terminal will address unforeseeable occurrences of accidents caused by BRVs or drivers, as well as ensure proper regulation of BRVs movement.
“In Ghana, the dominant mode of petroleum product transportation is by road using BRVs. All deliveries to retail outlets and bulk customers in the country are delivered by BRVs. This mode of transportation is however associated with many challenges, including the haphazard parking of Tankers along the roads of the Tema Oil Refinery Area and other Petroleum Products Storage Depots in Tema, because of the unavailability of spaces and rest-room for drivers who have to hang about.
“The parking of BRVs, sometimes loaded with petroleum products, along these roads poses a serious Health and Safety risk to life and property. Therefore, the NPA wants the movement of BRVs scheduled to load products properly regulated – hence the need to construct the 950-tanker parking terminal to address any unforeseeable occurrences of accidents caused by BRVs or drivers,” Mr. Tampuli explained.
He therefore encouraged the over-3,000 registered tankers operating in the petroleum downstream industry to ensure safety in their businesses, while tanker drivers should take enough rest after every journey.
“The tanker is a brute of a vehicle. Standing 3.4 metres tall and 15.5 metres in length, it looks large and powerful and is a potential safety threat on our roads when not properly handled. A number of accidents were born out of fatigue as a result of inadequate rest after a trip. We, as stakeholders in the industry and operators of these tankers, therefore have a responsibility to give members of public the assurance that we are doing our utmost best to ensure their safety while we carry out our business.”
Mr. Tampuli again encouraged Transport owners to introduce incentives that promote safe driving practices among the drivers.
He assured the Tanker Drivers Union that NPA will continue to create an enabling environment for operations in the transportation section of the Petroleum Downstream Industry.
He expressed gratitude to the six-member committee comprising representatives from NPA, TOR, Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Tanker Owners Association and Tanker Drivers Association who worked tirelessly in finding alternative land to serve as a tanker park.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of J.K. Ahiadome Transport, Mr. James Ahiadome – who also chaired the occasion on behalf of the Tanker Owners Union, was grateful to NPA for solving their problem.
He noted that for the past few years parking their tankers was a challenge, as some of them were threatened with being taken to court due to improper parking.
However, they have some relief as they now have a permanent and decent parking terminal.
Chairman of the Tanker Drivers Union, Mr. George Nyaunu, said the parking terminal is a standard one and their members are safe there.