Mr Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister of Petroleum says government is committed to the path of price deregulation in the petroleum downstream sector, so that the market could determine the prices of products.
Speaking at a cocktail to celebrate the launch of Puma Energy Distribution Ghana, he noted that the deregulation process would also allow the regulatory body to deliver its core mandate of ensuring fair play in the downstream arena and also ensuring quality.
He noted that the approval by Parliament of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Amendment had cemented the path.
Mr Buah said the downstream sector is brimming with opportunities; with a strong stimulated demand for petroleum products, as statistics showed that the amount of petroleum products consumed in the country annually continue to surge.
“This certainly provides golden opportunities for industry players and we are happy that Puma has joined the competition,” he stated.
He said government is also working on a Legislative Instrument on local content in the downstream sector, as has been done in the upstream sector.
“We think there has been real success in the upstream sector and we want to replicate that in downstream sector,” he said.
Mr Buah commended Puma Energy’s foundation on partnerships with local communities and its shareholding structure with includes more than 50 per cent Ghanaians, describing it as “more of a Ghanaian firm than a foreign entrant”.
He said government is convince, in light of the company’s track record, that it is a credible partner to invest in and strengthen the downstream sector.
Mr Buah challenged Puma Energy to continue to adhere to its strong health, safety and environmental records and maintain an incident free operation as they had done, to serve as yardstick in the industry
Mr Myles Bouvier-Baird, General Manager of Puma Energy Distribution Ghana, said it is a positive step to deregulate the market and let competition determine the prices.
He noted that there has been significant increase in competitive activity since the deregulation of the downstream sector by government, a phenomenon which is good for the end user of the products.
Mr Bouvier-Baird said the company, aside providing petroleum products at competitive prices for Ghanaians, is also very interested in the communities they operate in.
In line with this, Puma Energy would, from next month, launch its flagship Road Safety Campaign targeted at children.
He said the company would partner with a non-governmental organisation to identify local schools, where they would go and educate them about the road safety.
“It’s a really fun campaign; a fun way to educate them, and after the education, we give them a few little gifts like school bags with reflectors on them to make them a bit safer,” he said.
Mr Bouvier-Baird said the company believes that through education, it could help reduce incidents around roads, especially with children.
Puma Energy has been supporting the country’s fuel industry for nearly 10 years through the construction and operation of the CBM import system, which is used to import crude and other oil products into the country.