A seven-member delegation from the Energy Regulatory Board of Zambia is in the country to understudy the operations of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in the regulation of the petroleum downstream industry.
The team seeks to have a better insight into the implementation of price deregulation, fuel marking, electronic cargo tracking and the Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF).
An arrangement has been made to visit the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Akosombo depot, an oil marketing company, and a fully-automated retail outlet to have hands-on experience in their operations.
Welcoming the delegation at the NPA in Accra today (Monday), a Deputy Chief Executive of NPA, Perry Okudzeto, said collaboration between countries was critical, especially for regulators of the energy industry. For instance, he said, with the crisis in the energy industry, access to forex and petroleum products had become difficult.
Therefore, Mr. Okudzeto said such collaboration and sharing of experiences were crucial to help member-countries to come out of the storm. He assured the delegation of NPA’s readiness to take it through its operations, including visits to system areas in Accra and Tema “to gain insight into what we do”.
The leader of the delegation, Simweemba Buumba, thanked the NPA for accepting the request to understand Ghana’s downstream industry. He said his team was ready to learn from NPA and affirmed the commitment of Zambia to continue its collaboration with Ghana. “We look forward to learning from you. The collaboration will continue,” he said.
Giving an overview of Ghana’s downstream petroleum industry, the Director of Policy Coordination of NPA, Sheila Abiemo, said the deregulation regime introduced by the government had brought about price decontrol, transparent pricing, and ensured the implementation of the UPPF regime.
She said the NPA regulates the importation of crude oil and refined petroleum products, and indicated that the authority supplies the products to the power, aviation and mining industries as well as the retail markets.
Mrs. Abiemo mentioned illegal imports, pricing issues, delayed payments of premix, residual fuel oil (RFO) subsidies and inadequate storage infrastructure as some of the challenges in the industry. She said the NPA had taken steps to address the challenges while it also intensified education to get compliance.
For his part, the UPPF Coordinator, Jacob Amuah, said the implementation of the UPPF regime had ensured equal prices of petroleum products across the country, and reduced dumping and fraudulent claims.