Following the discovering of product adulteration at its Kumasi Depot, BOST says it has impounded nine tankers for carrying adulterated fuel.
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited says it’s taking all required steps to rectify the anomaly.
“The drivers of these vehicles are nowhere to be found as we speak but their respective trucks are being held pending the conclusion of the investigations. This brings the total number of trucks with adulterated contents to nine”, BOST said in a statement.
“The truck and its content are being held at a safe place, whilst investigations continue and the driver of the truck is in custody, helping the investigative agencies to get to the bottom of the matter. Further pre-discharge tests disclosed eight more trucks had their contents adulterated.”
The current robust Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) no adulterated product will find its way into its tanks, let alone to the market, BOST assured the public.
“The company wishes to further assure the public that, the reported incident has not affected our operations in any way and our fuel safety and security as a country is assured.”
The Crime Scene Management Team (CSMT)of the Ashanti Regional Police Command yesterday stormed the Bulk Oil and Transportation Storage (BOST) Company Limited depot here in Kumasi over an alleged adulteration of fuel, petrol in particular, by some tanker drivers.
The six-member team acting on tip-off arrived at the depot unexpectedly and arrested one of the tanker drivers with about 15 other drivers taking to their heels on seeing the police.
It was not very clear why the drivers were engaged in adulterating the fuel but it is believed, probably with the intention of gaining undue financial benefits, stimulated by the high fuel price.
The development comes in the wake of a recent missing fuel scandal at the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) which has triggered calls for a full-scale inquiry into the scandal.
The call was also after TOR publicized the interdiction of some of its staff pending the conclusion of investigations into the disappearance of fuel, product storage, and transfer losses at the refinery.
When the Ghanaians Times visited the BOST office, the management declined to comment on the issue saying that the head office in Accra should speak on the matter.
Transportation of products
BOST depends on three modes of transport for transferring products from its primary depot at Kpone in Tema across its other depots: Kumasi, Buipe, Akosombo, and Bolgatanga.
These modes are road through bulk road vehicles popularly called tankers, river barges on the Volta Lake in partnership with Volta Late Transport Corporation, and pipelines between Tema and Akosombo, Buipe, and Bolgatanga, and from Tema Oil Refinery to the Accra Plains Depot.
The reported incident it said concerns the Bulk Road Vehicular mode of transport.
Product loading and off-loading standard procedures
As a standard practice, BOST said products are tested to confirm their chemical composition before loading into trucks.
It pointed out that upon arrival at their destination, same product testing is carried out to ensure what was loaded onto the truck is what has been transported before discharge is permitted, adding “during the pre-discharge testing of product aboard a BRV, it was discovered through the basic test that the chemical composition of the product at the destination differed from what was loaded on the truck.”
BOST, therefore, made a call for confirmation testing which proved that the result of the basic test was correct: the product aboard the truck was adulterated.