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Opinions of Saturday, 26 November 2022

Columnist: Kwame Adinkra

The fuel economy in Ghana: The JP experience

File photo a fuel pump File photo a fuel pump

I viewed a video uploaded by Lawyer Tweneboah Kodua (TK) of UTV. In that video, he displayed an empty section of Obetsebi Lamptey interchange Road, in contrast to the regular Friday rush-hour gridlock. Another video popped up on the WhatsApp status of Kofi Nti Hammer, host of Hammer Time on Pure FM, displaying the deserted Kokoben road, off Obuasi. In fact, Kokoben is notorious for its constant traffic congestion.

There have been reports in the media that, as a result of Ghana’s economic downturn, many have left their automobiles at home and turned to alternative modes of transportation. Perhaps, this prompted Lawyer TK and Hammer to provide more and better evidence to support the claim.

Global economy

The robust economic recovery following the global pandemic has constrained the energy markets since 2021. The Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, also, triggered global energy catastrophe. Natural gas prices reached record highs, and power prices followed in several countries including Ghana.

The persistent increases in energy prices have contributed to uncontrolled high inflation, increased cost of living and poverty, forced some companies to cut output or shut down completely.

Economy of Ghana

The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo said in a televised address to the nation that "We are in a crisis, I do not exaggerate when I say so”. His finance minister has acknowledged and accepted the crisis and the hardship bestowed on the citizens. Moreover, the economy has been crushed by the depreciation of the currency, the cedi, against the U.S. dollar and other mayor trading currencies.

Currently, prices of goods and services have multiplied, some, by over 100% margin as Ghana’s inflation is currently estimated at 40.4%. Prof. Eric Fosu Oteng Abayie of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology posits that the increase in oil prices has a direct effect on the inflation rate.

His accession has been collaborated by a well-known economist, Professor Godfred Alufar Bokpin of the University of Ghana, Legon, who explained that the rising fuel prices further escalate the cost of transporting goods and services and thereby affect prices of foodstuffs.

English philosopher and political economist, John Stuart Mill once wrote, “I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them”. Today, more people are becoming more frugal with their decisions and moves, and I suppose I have followed suit. I now question and pay particular attention to the cost and quality of fuel on the market.

Fuel Economy

In the petroleum sector, RON is the octane measure used globally, designed to reflect the behaviour of fuel under idling conditions and during acceleration. According to research, the higher the RON rating, the more compression it can withstand in a spark-ignition engine before igniting. 95 RON is roughly equivalent to 91-octane on the anti-knock index currently used in the United States.

In 2020, GOIL Company limited introduced onto the Ghanaian market, the higher-grade petrol RON 95. Earlier in 2007, SHELL GHANA Limited had launched an unleaded fuel with an exclusive formulation, called V-Power, designed to protect engines, maintain at peak condition and give users more power and responsiveness.

The JP Experience

Juwel Energy, a Ghanaian Downstream oil and gas company after winning the ‘Best Bulk Oil Company’ in 2020, at the Ghana Oil and Gas Awards, established an oil marketing company, JP Energy Solutions, simply JP, to retail oil directly to consumers. Strangely but strategically, the first service station was established in Kumasi barely a year ago.

JP OIL has, also, introduced the ‘J-Supreme’ grade with octene level of 97, which contains cleaning and protective additives that prevent the formation of carbon deposits in the intake valves and fuel injectors and remove any existing deposits. Additionally, it prevents rusting and corrosion. The J-Supreme saves you 20% of fuel and allows you to cover more distance coverage. The best on the market so far.

The J-SupremO, also, has an octane level of 93, slightly above the standard approved by the National Petroleum Authority and which is saving you 10% of fuel.

Every diesel fuel has a cetane rating that represents the quality and performance of that particular fuel. The higher the number, the more efficiently the fuel burns. JP sells the J-SupremA (diesel) with a cetane of 55, also, above the Ghanaian standard cetane rate of 50. And despite providing higher grades of fuel with superior quality, JP has one of the most competitive pricing policies. Affordable!

It is, therefore, not surprising that JP is gradually becoming the brand of choice for many Ghanaians in Kumasi and its environs. Many drivers (private and commercial) including motorbike and tricycle riders are given testimonies of the superior quality of fuel provided by JP.

The IMF African Department Director, Abebe Aemro Selassie, believes that ‘the effects of the Ukraine war, primarily an increase in gasoline and food prices, would be felt by everyone’.

Therefore, it is vital that we optimise our resources at all times, and I suppose JP is providing us with the option to "earn more and burn less."