NPA suspends Sentuo Oil Refinery’s approval to sell finished fuel products

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has taken a decisive step, suspending the approval granted to Chinese firm Sentuo Oil Refinery to market certain finished petroleum products.

The move comes amidst rising concerns over the quality and adherence to industry specifications, particularly regarding the sale of petrol.

Citing discrepancies uncovered during its internal investigations, the NPA disclosed that Sentuo Oil Refinery had been distributing petrol that marginally exceeded approved specifications. Such revelations have ignited a firestorm of controversy, notably exacerbated by allegations leveled by prominent energy think tanks, including the Institute of Energy Security (IES) and the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC).

The IES and COPEC have accused Sentuo Oil Refinery of flooding the Ghanaian fuel market with substandard products, thus compromising vehicle and machinery integrity. Their assertions resonate with growing apprehension among consumers and industry stakeholders alike, raising pertinent questions about regulatory oversight and corporate responsibility within Ghana’s downstream petroleum sector.

Ubeidalah Saeed, Head of Quality Control at the NPA, speaking on the matter, emphasized that while the products in question may not be deemed outrightly unwholesome, they nonetheless fail to meet stringent industry standards, particularly concerning pressure thresholds.

In response to mounting pressure, the NPA has vowed to bolster monitoring mechanisms, instituting rigorous counter-testing protocols for all certificates submitted by Sentuo Oil Refinery. This proactive approach underscores the regulator’s commitment to upholding transparency and safeguarding consumer interests in the wake of escalating scrutiny.

The backdrop to this unfolding saga reveals broader systemic challenges within Ghana’s petroleum landscape. The IES and COPEC have called for a thorough investigation into Sentuo Oil Refinery’s operations, urging governmental intervention to address regulatory deficiencies and prevent further market disruption.

Moreover, criticisms have been leveled at the government’s perceived leniency towards Sentuo Oil Refinery, particularly in light of its alleged failure to secure requisite permits and licenses. Such lapses underscore the imperative for robust regulatory enforcement and adherence to statutory provisions governing oil refinery and marketing activities.

Norvan Reports