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20.05.2004 General News

Use fuel judiciously - Energy Foundation

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Accra, May 20, GNA - The Ministry of Energy and the Ghana Energy Foundation have called for judicious use of fuel in the country as a means of reducing Ghana's crude oil consumption. They have, therefore, asked public officials to show leadership and stop using four-wheel vehicles in the city and reserve them for long distance travels.

Dr Ofosu Ahenkorah, Executive Director of the Energy Foundation, told Journalists in Accra that fuel consumers have a significant role to play in reducing the quantum of fuel that was imported into the country by adopting cost saving measures such as car-pooling, regular engine tune-ups, use of properly inflated tyres and the judicious use of air conditioning.

The occasion was to alert the public on the judicious use of fuel energy as a way to reducing Governments' total fuel imports which currently stood at 450,000 tons a month.

Dr Ahenkorah urged drivers to keep to prescribed speed limits, adding "anything above 80 kilometres per hour in the city results in about 30 per cent loss in fuel consumption over the distance.

"Additionally, we should as a nation move towards the use of smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles.

Dr Ahenkorah indicated that whereas Government might not be in a hurry to increase the ex-pump prices of petroleum products in Ghana for various socio-political reasons, the continuous shortfalls in petroleum cost recovery was just not sustainable.

Dr Ahenkorah asked private car owners to pool their cars especially in the urban areas and the provision of fast lanes for buses and vehicles with multiple occupancies.

He said the efficient use of petroleum products would reduce the amount of money the nation spent on crude oil importation and to help defer and even avoid any increase in petroleum products prices.

He said the two organisations would increase education in the coming weeks to provide consumers with information on saving fuel. Mr Sam Q. Barnor, Chief Director at the Ministry of Energy, said the required reduction in Ghana's fuel consumption called for a radical change in attitudes in fuel use.

"The money used to import crude oil could then be pushed into the provision of health and educational facilities. We should not only focus on the rising costs, but what we can do to reduce our spending patterns," Mr Barnor said.