Gov’t developing local content policy for petroleum sector – VEEP

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has announced that government is currently developing a local content policy for the petroleum downstream sector.
According to him, the objective of the policy is to attract and increase local value-added investments into the downstream petroleum industry.
 Vice President Amissah-Arthur announced this when he opened the 1st Ghana International Petroleum Conference (GhipCon) in Accra.
The conference which is on the theme: “Changing phase of petroleum-Repositioning Industry” was attended by both local and foreign organisations including the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies, Oil Marketing Companies, Financial Institutions, the National Petroleum Authority and the Ministry of Petroleum.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur noted that the participation of the private sector in downstream industry stands at less than 30 per cent on ownership of total national storage capacity for refined petroleum products and 80 per cent with respect to transporting, distributing and retailing of petroleum products.
He said on July 1, 2015 government commenced the full deregulated market for all petroleum products with the exception of Residual Fuel Oil and Premix fuel.
He said the purpose of the policy is to allow for competitive pricing, removal of government interventions and elimination of forex losses faced by importers.
He said in spite of the liberalisation of the petroleum product government has also introduced measures to cushion the vulnerable segment of the population.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur said the development of a gas master plan for the country’s gas sector is also underway.
According to him,  the plan is to provide the framework for medium to long-term gas utilisation, infrastructure development priorities and investment opportunities.
He indicated that the government is also developing a national policy on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to streamline activities in LPG production, transportation and use in a safe and standardised market.
He said the plan is to ensure that by 2020 at least 50 per cent of Ghanaians have access to LPG.
He therefore charged the private sector to take advantage in the sector and invest in new LPG infrastructure to increase access and availability of the product to consumers especially in the rural area.
Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Petroleum stated that the ministry is working on a new local content policy for the petroleum downstream sector as well as building local capacity.
He called for strengthening of Ghanaian companies to ensure that they at the forefront of the petroleum downstream industry to create jobs for the youth.
 He said government is focused on the deregulated policy on the petroleum products to ensure that there is transparency and a level playing field for all players in the industry.
Mr Moses Asaga, Chief Executive of NPA in an overview of the Deregulation Policy said the successful implementation strategy has saved government huge subsidies, brought in efficiency and ensure health price competition.
He revealed that despite the deregulated market the quality of the petroleum products has remained  in accordance with the conformity test from the Tema Oil refinery.
He said the NPA has also introduced the petroleum product marking scheme to prevent the adulteration of the petroleum products.
 Mr Senyo Hosi, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors explained that the GhipCon is an annual petroleum downstream platform for industry education and policy construction to drive industry momentum for growth.
He said the conference also seeks to deepen the constructive role of the downstream petroleum sector by fostering cooperation between stakeholder and policy makers.
He called on government to support the players in the downstream petroleum sector to enhance their growth.
Source: GNA