|Mr. Ayarkwa explaining to journalists|
The Buipe Depot of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) in the Central Gonja District of the Northern Region of Ghana, is currently undergoing repairs, upgrading and refurbishment after almost nine months of complete shutdown, authorities say.
Security cameras, structures and mega storage tanks are some of the facilities that ought to undergo maintenance in order to enhance security and lifespan of the facility after more than 20 years of existence.
Since the establishment of the old depot in the 1990s and new depot in 2006, this is the first time machines and other facilities of BOST are undergoing calibration and maintenance as well as refurbishment in order to preempt any future disaster.
The Manager of the Buipe Depot, Fred Ayarkwa, who briefed the media including Savannahnews during a recent tour of the facility, expressed concern about its shutdown, noting that it has affected workers morale since they do not know when work is expected to resume.
The Buipe BOST Depot serves the three regions of the north –Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions, as well as other parts of the Brong Ahafo Region with petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and kerosene.
Mr. Ayarkwa explained that, petroleum products are normally brought in from Akosombo and Tema for storage and distribution to oil marketing companies in the various regions. “In the case of Bolgatanga, the products are often transmitted through an eight inch underground pipeline of 268 kilometres from the Buipe Depot to another depot in Bolgatanga for distribution to customers in those areas and the Sahelian countries”, he said.
These products arrive by barges and bulk road vehicles (tankers) which travel by the Volta Lake as well as road from Akosombo and Tema respectively to the Buipe Depot, Mr. Ayarkwa said, adding that “transmission of the products from the Buipe Depot to Bolgatanga Depot is often aided by a booster station in Savelugu”.
The Buipe Depot has ten mega storage tanks which can hold a maximum of 50 million litres of petrol, diesel and kerosene. Seven out of the ten mega storage tanks contain diesel and kerosene while the rest of the three contain petrol. As at the end of 2013, the monthly demand for petroleum products by all regions was estimated to be about 30 million litres.
Meanwhile, the BOST is a private limited liability company with the government of Ghana as sole shareholder. It has the mandate to develop a network of storage tanks, pipelines and other bulk transportation infrastructure throughout the country and to keep strategic reserve stocks in case of any emergency.
BOST currently has storage facilities at six locations within the country namely; Accra plains, Mami-water, Akosombo, Kumasi, Buipe and Bolgatanga with plans to develop same at Takoradi and Wa in the long term. BOST has also been given an additional mandate as the natural gas transmission utility (NGTU) to develop the natural gas infrastructure throughout the country.
Also, the new Board of Directors through management has instituted a programme code named "operation BOST 24" as part of new measures to make the company live up to its mandate. Management intends to make BOST the number one or the preferred logistics company in the energy sector in the sub-region.