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OMCs Want Stringent Entry Criteria

The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) is pushing for a tighter entry criteria for new entrants into the industry. This is to help control the influx of OMCs into the downstream petroleum sector, which are currently estimated to be over 40 companies and the subsequent siting of fuel stations all over the country.

“The NPA cannot refuse to grant licences, they will set the criteria and once the company meets it, it has to be given the licence to operate. If they refuse, the company can take them to court because it will amount to discrimination against the new entrant,” he said in an interview.

He said although opinions on whether to allow new entrants among the players were divided, the ideal situation would have been to have a few companies in the industry.

“We would have wished to have a few. We have had this issue since 2009; we asked the industry players and their response was that we should allow the rest to all come in the way they all did.  We need to tighten the criteria because currently, if the company meets the criteria, you have to give it the licence to operate,” he said.

Siting fuel stations

According to Mr Agyemang- Duah, the criteria for siting fuel stations had been tightened although that would not affect current operations because once a company meets all the current criteria, it cannot be denied the permission to build the fuel station.

“For instance, on the stations, we have tightened the criteria, but it cannot take retrospective effect.  What we have now on paper is that there should be 100 meters difference. If the fuel stations were close before the law was passed, which one are you going to break, but in the future we won’t allow that thing to happen,” he said.

Pay more for quality fuel

There has been recent concern about the importation of toxic diesel into the country which has harmful effects on the environment and human lives.

The imported fuel, which comes with a high Sulphur content, is said to be not a usable option in Europe, something he attested to.

“Everyone is going low, Europe is all low. The mines have sophisticated equipment and they requested for that content because they will pay. They are using the 500ppm now. We have to discuss how we can phase out it out gradually because you cannot do it at a go, the fuel is expensive,” he said.

He added, “and we want to work out modalities because the taxes on fuel now are high so when you bring in the expensive ones you have to pay more. Anytime you want quality, you have to pay. There is a health hazard with the Sulphur  so we need to look at it and have a balance.”

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