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02.04.2007 General News

Energy experts want policy intervention in fuel pricing

By myjoyonline

Energy experts and oil market watchers are calling for a policy intervention to maintain the price of gasoline or diesel and reduce the cost of production on industry.

They would rather the price of gasoline is passed on to other products such as petrol and kerosene.

The call follows the recent upward adjustment in petroleum prices to between 6 to 8 percent across board for all products.

Petrol now sells at 8,202 cedis 54 pesewas per litre or 36,909 cedis 99 pesewas per gallon. Diesel is selling at 7,756 cedis 22 pesewas per litre or 34,902 cedis 99 pesewas a gallon.

The price of Kerosene is now 6,752 cedis 34 pesewas per litre or 30,385 cedis 53 pesewas a gallon with a kilogram of Liquefied Petroleum Gas going for 7,326 cedis 44 pesewas or 106,233 cedis 38 pesewas for a 14.5 kilograms cylinder.

But speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Bulk Oil Storage Transport, Kwabena Donkor said government could absorb the price increases.

“If we increase the price of gas oil at a time when the cost of production is already going up, because they now have to use more expensive power, then the outlook for industry would be dire. Bulk transport is essentially powered by diesel; all our cargo trucks, our buses, our commercial trucks, articulators, water transport, so diesel powers a lot more of our transportation.”

The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority, John Attafuah however disagrees with the suggestion for intervention.

“So let us incur cost in importing diesel so that we can run diesel engines and then when we finish we can get into the TOR trillion situation and then say well we all wanted electricity, we didn't have it, we decided we won't pay for gas oil when we had it, now we have electricity, let us go find some money let us go and pay TOR and let's applaud TOR for absorbing the cost and being a loss making entity. And I think our watchword, our guiding principle should be conservation all of us of all sorts of energy.”

But Energy expert and former Minister in the NDC, Ato Ahwoi said the high fuel prices will further kill local industries.

“What it means is that the cost of production of industries is further going to increase. What an industrialist is going to do is that to maintain his cost or to cut down his cost, …he is going to sack labour and at the end of the day the hardships which have been imposed on Ghanaians is going to increase. Government should look at these things. Through their own incompetence they have created the power crisis, now they are going to worsen the crises which have been imposed on industries by increasing petroleum products prices so that they have to pay more for petroleum products to be able to generate electricity to enable them to produce. It is not fair.”