Lack of petroleum distribution infrastructure can hinder growth

petroelum distribution
Regional approach to fuel distribution is imperative

Africa’s economic growth risks being stifled by a lack of efficient and safe distribution of petroleum products, says the African Refiners Association (ARA).
At the ARA’s inaugural Storage and Distribution Forum held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire mid-November, participants agreed on the need for a regional, rather than country-by-country approach to fuel distribution and fuel specifications in order to avoid high costs to African states, particularly the land-locked countries.
In addition, health standards, safety and environmental operation need to be upgraded and enforced in order to assure safe operation throughout the supply chain from bulk storage to the petrol pump. There is also the need to encourage efficient rail distribution for oil products alongside new product pipelines where safety and economic thresholds can be met, in order to reduce fatalities from road traffic accidents. The Forum recommended a thorough review of skills gaps in the distribution industry workforce, stressing its importance for both management and operators.
The Forum agreed that these measures will be taken up by ARA’s Storage and Distribution Work Group to work towards African best practice for safe, efficient, economic and sustainable petroleum product distribution. Joel Dervain, ARA’s executive secretary, said ‘the enthusiasm for improvement was overwhelming across all delegates at the Forum, and having all stakeholders present from government regulators to storage, distribution and marketing companies, meant that our expectations are high for our industry to help, rather than hinder, Africa’s continuing economic growth.’

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