After 12 years of delay, the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), on Tuesday took delivery of a consignment of pipes from the United States for the expansion of the pipeline conveying petroleum from Tema to Akosombo.
The delay in the shipment of the items procured in 2008 to Ghana was due to contractual and payment issues between the company and the manufacturer.
The consignment which arrived on Saturday at the Tema port onboard MV Universal Africa Lines, included 5,400(12 inch) pipes along with equipment such as pumps, motors, flow metres and fibre optic cables that initially cost the company US$63 million, but after having been left under the mercy of the weather with subsequent deterioration, the pipes had to be refurbished at an additional cost of US$8 million.
However, cost of shipping amounted to about US$2.1 million.
BOST, through the government of Ghana, secured a US EXIM Bank facility in 2008 to expand the capacity of the pipeline from Tema to Akosombo, from six inches to 12 inches and to enhance the storage capacity of the Accra plains, Kumasi, Buipe and Bolgatanga depots.
Under that arrangement, a total of US$63.2 million was to be spent on the pipeline, but after 11 years of being left to contend with the weather of the United States, the company had to incur an extra US$8 million for sand blasting and recoating of these pipelines before shipping arrangements at the cost of US$2.1 million.
Board Chairman of BOST, MrEkow Hackman, led a delegation from the company, including another member of the board, Ms Joyce AgyemanAttafuah; Managing Director, Mr Edwin Provencal, and General Manager Assets and Infrastructure, Mr Nicholas Samari, take delivery of the equipment from the Tema port.
Addressing the media, Mr Provencal said the pipes had arrived at an opportune time when the company had reactivated its Bolgatanga depot for export and made it possible to transfer high volumes of petroleum between Tema and Akosombo for distribution to Buipe, through their river barges to meet the surging demand in the Northern sector and landlocked countries.
He surmised that if the $63.2 million had been invested in 2008, at a rate of 9 per cent per annum for 12 years, it would have yielded $178 million today.
Mr Provencal said in line with the President’s vision of making energy affordable and as part of the four year strategy of BOST (to be operationally efficient), the expansion project was expected to help improve the proportion from Tema to Bolgatanga to serve the export market in the Northern regions.
He said that would tremendously improve on the utilisation and turnover of their marine assets, utilisation of their Mami Water depot which also served as a booster station between Tema and Akosombo.
Mr Provencal added that it would enable BOST meet the ever increasing demand of the landlocked countries in the Sahelian region at the lowest possible cost.
He said the pipelines, to be installed from mid-2022, would take a year and half to complete at the estimated cost of $24 million and would employ 500 people within the period.
Mr Hackman on his part said the pipes were effectively abandoned until 2018 when the former Managing Director of the company, Mr George Okley, took it as his duty to resolve it.
FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, TEMA