Premix fuel automation pilot ends, roll-out begins
Government has started the building of automated premix fuel dispensing units at landing beaches after a successful pilot, Nana Abrokwa Asare, Administrator, National Premix Fuel Secretariat (NPFS), told the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday.
The fuel dispensing system consists of control units and fuel level sensors and a card system, where every canoe owner would be given a unique card for purchasing premix fuel.
He said the automation was to ensure availability of the fuel and “eliminate middlemen who hijack the distribution” of the fuel, a purpose-made fuel for artisanal fisher folks, who use outboard motors in the marine and inland fisheries sector.
Nana Asare said the new direction would see the construction of mini pump stations at the over 300 landing beaches in phases to halt diversion.
The Secretariat, he said, was working with stakeholders to build about 20 stations at landing beaches by the end of the year.
“We have almost completed the mini pump station at Yeji and Elmina landing beaches. The industry players are excited about the initiative. The dispensing units can help track the movement of premix fuel to help promote the efficient management of the commodity,” he said.
Premix fuel is critical for the work of artisanal fishermen. Without it, many of them cannot go to sea, which will have negative impact on the livelihood of people in the coastal communities.
Dr Benjamin Boakye, the Executive Director of African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), at a forum recently, said the provision of the automated fuel dispensing and monitoring system would complement the already existing strategies being implemented by the government to address shortages, and the challenges associated with the allocation and distribution of premix fuel.
“By this, we will be able to weed out impersonators and people who do not need the premix, ensuring that only canoe owners get access in order to save the government money and also bring comfort to fishermen,” he said.
Dr Boakye said the system would help the Secretariat to check hoarding, which created artificial shortage and denied fishermen access to the product.