Sunday, February 17, 2013

■ GHANA: Fuel shortages ground domestic airlines 'til Tuesday; international operators forced to make other plans.

GhanaAn ongoing jet fuel crisis caused by supply problems in Togo and exacerbated by lack of reserve at the national oil refinery in Tema, has compelled Ghana's domestic operators to suspend flights for the next three days (Sunday included), say reports out of Accra.

Tema Oil Refinery, Ghana
Tema Oil Refinery, Ghana (okromouth)
Three local carriers including Antrak Air (O4), Fly540 (5H) and Africa World Airlines (AW) on Saturday had to cancel their evening flights to Kumasi and Tamale and have been told to wait until Tuesday to resume operations. Starbow Airlines (S9) has issued a statement saying its flights on Monday 18 February would operate as per normal.

International operators operating to and from Accra are said to have made "alternate arrangements" to refuel elsewhere.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) reports that several factors including the inability of the Tema Oil Refinery in Greater Accra to supply enough fuel to bulk distributor companies, reductions in the quantity of fuel supplied to Ghana by Togo due to increased demand, and an increase in fuel prices have all contributed to the shortage.

The Joint User Hydrant Installation (JUHI), made up of the three fuel companies who supply fuel for aircraft at Accra's Kotoka International Airport namely Shell, Goil and Total, yesterday issued a NOTAM  (Notice to Airmen) to the various airlines informing them that there would be no refuelling from Saturday onwards owing to "a general shortage of Jet A1 in the sub-region coupled with problems sourcing it from Togo".

The Chief Commercial Officer at Antrak Air, Kweku Antwi Bosiako, said his company had received further communication indicating that the shortage will last for at least three days.
It really came as a shock this afternoon (Saturday) that we got to know that the situation is much worse than we were initially advised,” he noted.
Source [ModernGhana]

He said the main supplier is facing "challenges with the supply" of the product but has promised it could only supply it on Wednesday.

Ghana has suffered perennial JetA1 fuel supply problems owing to its reliance on the Tema Oil Refinery.