Kumasi, Dec. 9, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday inaugurated the 36 billion cedis expansion works, to raise the country's strategic petroleum reserves, at the Kumasi Depot of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST).
The project, solely financed by the Government, involved the construction of four additional tanks with capacity for holding 6.7 million litres of gasoline; 8.3 million litres of diesel and 3.8 million litres of kerosene.
Its completion had now brought the country closer to achieving the six weeks strategic storage of fuel.
President Kufuor said it was the Government's intention to increase BOST's operational reserve capacity to underpin the stable functioning of the economy.
He said the inauguration marked another significant in-road particularly in the face of uncertainties in world fuel supply. He announced that similar tanks were being constructed at the Accra Plains Depot in Tema, Buipe and Bolgatanga. When completed, these would be adding a total of 140,000 cubic metres capacity to the existing facilities.
President Kufuor noted that thorough assessment was conducted on the environmental implications of the Kumasi Depot project and said: "We are all assured that issues relating to pollution of water bodies, air pollution, noise pollution and any other pollutants that may disturb the ecological balance of the people, flora and fauna have been taken care of."
He advised the Management and Staff of BOST as well as the people of Kaase, where, the project is sited, to guard it around the clock in view of its strategic importance, adding: "Maintenance must be central to its management".
Professor Mike Ocquaye, Minister of Energy, said the country which had zero strategic reserve at the time the Government took office, now had reserves for two weeks and that with the completion of the project, it would shoot up to four weeks.
By June next year, the six weeks target would be achieved, he said. He said the expansion works were being carried out with BOST margins on petroleum prices, pointing out that this showed that the margins were being well and securely used.
Mr J.O.K. Addo-Yobo, Managing Director of BOST, said the company was collaborating with other parties to produce bio-diesel to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuel to help to bring down the ex-pump price.
He announced that the Bolgatanga Depot would be designated an export depot to serve the Sahelian countries and turn Ghana into an oil hub in the West African Sub-Region.
Oseadeayo Addo-Dankwah III, Okuapemanhene and Chairman of the Board of Directors of BOST, said company was on course fulfilling its mandate. 9 Dec. 05