The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is poised to introduce comprehensive regulations governing the importation, storage, processing, and marketing of bitumen in the country, effective January 2024.
This new regulatory framework, developed in collaboration with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA), and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), aims to streamline the bitumen supply chain and enforce adherence to national quality standards.
The framework delineates the qualifications required to obtain a license, sets national standards for bitumen, and provides guidelines for the supply of the product, among other provisions.
During a recent media briefing in Accra, Alpha Welbeck, the Director of Economic Regulation and Planning at NPA, disclosed the impending regulations and urged industry stakeholders to use the remaining months of 2023 to regularize their operations with the authority.
Welbeck emphasized, “Existing bitumen facilities and new entrants will have to acquire a license before they will be allowed to operate in the industry beginning 2024.”
The bitumen industry holds substantial potential for contributing to the nation’s economic growth and development, primarily due to its critical role in road construction.
Despite bitumen being a petroleum product, it has seen minimal oversight and regulation in comparison to other petroleum products like gasoline, diesel, and liquefied petroleum gas.
To address this gap, a study was conducted in 2014 to assess supply chain practices and gather baseline information about the bitumen industry.
Following this study, the NPA collaborated with stakeholders including the GHA, GRA – Customs Division, GSA, and key industry players to develop comprehensive guidelines for the supply of bitumen. These efforts have culminated in the forthcoming regulatory framework set to be enforced starting January 2024.
In the coming weeks, the NPA will issue a public notice outlining the requirements for obtaining a license, providing existing industry players and potential entrants with the necessary guidance to ensure their operations are fully compliant with the impending regulations before the 2024 deadline.