Mr Edwin Provencal, MD for BOST

The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) has refuted claims that it is the manager of the Primary Distribution Margin (PDM).

“PDM was under the management of BOST until 2012 when the responsibility was transferred to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA),” BOST stressed in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The Institute of Energy Security (IES), in a recent analysis, claimed BOST was still managing the PDM.

However, the state-own oil storage company said, “The categorical statement that BOST is still managing PDM is simply false and should be disregarded”.

The PDM, which is the tax in the petroleum price build-up and utilized in the distribution of petroleum products across depots, BOST explained, aims to ensure uniformity in petroleum product prices across the country.

The statement explained that the GH3 pesewas upward adjustment of the BOST Margin was for the operation and maintenance of the petroleum storage and distribution infrastructure.

It further noted that given the huge investments made in building these infrastructures over the years, failure on the parts of successive governments to review the margin from 2011 resulted in massive dilapidation and some instances, decommissioning of some of these strategic assets.

BOST said the upward adjustment was a decision in time to stem the tide of disrepair and bring the assets back to life and into use.

“The twisted interpretation is, therefore, unfortunate and should be disregarded with the full force of every meaningful appreciation of the need to keep strategic stocks of petroleum products for the nation,” the statement said.

“Our initial request was GH9 pesewas to restore the value to the 2011 dollar value. Despite our unsuccessful attempt, the increment of GH3.00 has been efficiently utilized by the company.”

It added that in January 2017, the state of the company was “a debt of $623 million to suppliers and related parties, $36 million claim by Bulk Distribution Companies, BDCs for products lost in the BOST system”.

“Decommissioned petroleum barges, Non-operational Tema-Akosombo-Petroleum-Product-Pipeline, TAPP since 2015, Non-operational Buipe-Bolgatanga-Petroleum-Product-Pipeline, B2P3, Non-functional Bolgatanga and Maame Water Depots since 2015, old fashioned pumps and meters across the depots, GHS237 million debt owed to some domestic banks including Ghana Commercial Bank, Fidelity Bank, UBA, and UMB, among others”.

BOST said with the upward adjustment, continuous government support and the efficient management of the Company, it could now boast of a functional Bolgatanga Depot, which is exporting products to the landlocked countries of the Sahel region, successful repair of nine out of 15 decommissioned tanks and the payment of debts to suppliers and related parties, bringing down the debt to $50 million, among others.