Ghana’s NPA suspends sale of fuel from Chinese-owned Sentuo Oil Refinery over quality concerns

By Kent Mensah in Accra February 26, 2024

Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has suspended the distribution of fuel provided by the Chinese-owned Sentuo Oil Refinery, citing concerns over its alleged substandard quality, reports Joy News.

The NPA's move comes in response to mounting pressure from industry watchdogs, including the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) and the Institute for Energy Security (IES), urging regulatory intervention due to suspected irregularities in the refinery's operations.

In a joint statement, COPEC and IES raised alarm over the refinery's purported lack of proper licensing from the NPA and its alleged dissemination of below-par fuel within the Ghanaian market.

According to the NPA Act 2005, all downstream sector entities engaging in commercial activities are mandated to obtain operational permits from the board, a requirement the groups assert Sentuo has failed to fulfil for oil processing and trading activities.

Ubeidalah Saed, head of quality control at the NPA, disclosed to Citi News that they are currently scrutinising the fuel distributed to various filling stations, adding that there is ongoing discussions with the refinery to chart the next course of action.

"We have suspended the sale of that particular product... Particularly we are looking at all the filling stations that have been affected. We will be able to get the total outlook and come and make a very meaningful conclusion," Saed said.

However, in a statement released on Thursday (February 22), the NPA refuted claims by IES and COPEC that the fuel's deviation from specifications had resulted in damage to vehicles or machinery, clarifying that the issue pertained to high vapour pressure and not mechanical damage.

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