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15.02.2005 General News

TOR, fuel station managers trade accusations

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Accra, Feb. 15, GNA - The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and managers of fuel stations are blaming each other for queues for petrol and diesel in several parts of the country, as the Government and stakeholders meet on new prices.
While TOR says it has been pumping more than normal supplies of petrol and diesel and Government Officials attribute the "shortage" to hoarding by Fuel Station Managers, they also claim that TOR has been decreasing their supplies.
Drivers are also being blamed for the shortage because of panic buying, as the public speculates on fuel price increases when the deadline for the beginning of the deregulation of the Petroleum Sector officially begins on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Energy said it would go round fuel filling stations to check on supplies and those found to be hoarding petrol would be punished.
"Our orders are not being met," one Station Manager said adding:
"My order for 27,000 litres was cut down to 13,500 litres."
But TOR says it has enough fuel to supply and that the public has no cause to panic.
"Our plant is still working so there is no cause for alarm because we have never stopped supplying in a day," Mrs Aba Lokko, the TOR's Public Affairs Manager told the GNA.
She said TOR would continue to fill over 300 fuel tankers daily and that the shortage came from the retail stations.
She said TOR was currently not only supplying regularly but had also increased the quantity of its daily supplies to the market.
From February 6-11, the refinery increased its daily average petrol supply from 2.5 million litres to between 3.1 and 3.9 million litres while diesel supply for the same period increased from 2.8 million litres per day to between 3.2 million litres and 4.1 million litres. The Minister of Energy, Professor Mike Ocquaye said the Government had been meeting the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Transport Unions and other stakeholders to on the new price, which could be out at any moment.
Meanwhile, the queues at Tema and Accra East have begun melting away. Fuel stations that are serving fuel have less than 10 vehicles each but a number of others still do not have supplies.

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