GHANA's strategic reserves of petroleum products have been increased from two weeks' supply to one month's supply. (According to knowledgeable observers, this means that in the event of the Tema Oil Refinery not being able to refine petroleum products for any reason at all, Ghana will have a supply for at least one month while arrangements are made for supply from other sources).
The increase of the reserves follows the completion of expansion works at the Kumasi depot of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company, which was commissioned here on Friday by President Kufuor.
The expansion works include the construction of four tanks capable of storing 6.7 million litres of gasoline, 8.3 million litres of diesel and 3.8 million litres of kerosene. The project cost ¢36 billion.
President Kufuor said it was envisaged that a total of 140,000 cubic metres capacity would be added to the existing facilities from similar expansion works at Accra Plains depot in Tema, Buipe and Bolgatanga, and Ghana could then boast of six-weeks strategic reserves after the expansion works are completed by June next year.
Other depots, he said, would be constructed in other parts of the country to complete the strategic network envisioned by government to guarantee the fuel security needed by the country
He gave the assurance that issues relating to all pollutants from the project that may disturb the ecological balance of the people have been taken care of, adding that the appropriate compensation would be paid to the owners.
He said the depot was of strategic importance to the nation and therefore, urged the management staff of BOST and the chief and people of Kaase, the Kumasi suburb where the project is located, to maintain it.
Energy Minister, Prof Mike Ocquaye, noted that the nation's reserve was zero when the government took over in 2001, and commended BOST and the Energy Ministry for the achievement.