The Minister of Energy, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, underscored the critical role played by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) in fostering economic stability over the past few years.
Speaking at an event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of BOST in Accra, Dr. Opoku Prempeh highlighted the state-owned firm’s contributions to economic stability, particularly under the government’s flagship Gold-for-Oil (G40) policy. The G40 initiative allows BOST to pay for imported oil products with gold, in a direct barter with gold purchased by the central bank, according government.
Under the programme, the government said payment for the oil is done in two channels: barter trade or via forex obtained from selling gold to a broker.
Under the barter channel, suppliers willing to take gold in direct exchange for petroleum products will be provided with the equivalent volume of gold by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
Meanwhile under the broker channel, the BoG executes a gold supply agreement under which it sells gold to a gold broker, which provides forex cover to pay for petroleum products.
“By eliminating a significant portion of the monthly demand for dollars in our domestic economy, we have successfully stabilized the foreign exchange and petroleum products prices in,” the energy minister said,
He credited the stability in the forex market to the central role BOST plays in storing, transporting and distributing imported petroleum products in the country.
Dr. Opoku Prempeh, who was speaking at a “Thanksgiving Service” to mark the 30th anniversary of BOST, reckoned that the policy intervention has been a huge success. “This achievement has ensured that our economy remains resilient and robust by permitting reliance on the Ghana cedis in the importation of petroleum products to meet national demand,” he said.
The sector minister therefore described BOST as a shining example of excellence in management of public enterprises. Having returned to profit in the past two fiscal years after more than a decade of losses, Dr. Opoku Prempeh attributed the success to visionary leadership, strategic planning and dedicated teamwork.
For instance, the company reported two consecutive years of profit – US$163 million in 2021 and US$343 million in 2022.
He said BOST represents one of the most successful stories under his tenure as a minister, highlighting the challenges that confronted the company a few years ago.
The company, he said, was previously burdened with debts and for almost a decade, it had been suffering losses. Additionally, more than 50 percent of its depots were non-functional and only 18 percent of the revenue-earning assets were active and all of its pipelines were down.
Looking ahead, he said BOST will be a key player in the country’s energy transition agenda. “Our goal is to create an energy sector that prioritises sustainability and efficiency”.
The Thanksgiving Service to mark the 30 years of the establishment of BOST was held at the Cathedral Church of the Most Holy Trinity, in Accra and was led by Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto.
In his remarks during the church service, the chairman of the board of directors of BOST, Ekow Hackman, acknowledged that it was worth celebrating 30 years in the life of a company, especially given the current challenges that often limit a company’s lifespan.
He said BOST until recent times, was on the brink of collapse but with the support and dedication of the board, management and staff, the company has managed to come out of its looming corporate demise.
The Managing Director of BOST, Dr. Edwin Provencal, on behalf of the board and management of BOST, donated GH₵500,000 to the Holy Trinity Cathedral Senior High School (HOTCASS), in Accra, in support of the renovation of one of the blocks of the school.