By Kaleyesus Bekele
One of the leading petroleum companies in Ethiopia, National Oil Ethiopia (NOC), unveiled a new tanker tracking system on Thursday. The new system will enable the company to locate tanker trucks, protect fuel adultery and monitor the behavior of drivers.
NOC procured the technology from a US-based company, Global Tracking Technology PLC. The contractual agreement was signed by Tadesse Tilahun, CEO of NOC, and Zelalem Dagne, managing director of Global Tracking Technology at the Dashen Salon of the Sheraton Addis. The cost to install the tanker tracking system on each truck is 82,000 birr and a monthly fee of 1000 birr will be paid for Global Tracking to cover telephone, internet, GPS satellite and data management services.
NOC has 800 fuel tanker trucks and the total cost of adopting the tracking system will cost 300 million birr. According to Tadesse, NOC will pay Global Tracking 300 million birr and owners of the oil tanker trucks will repay the amount in two years’ time. Each truck owner will pay 82,000 birr in two years’ time and 1000 monthly payment for the after sales services that include GPS and data management services.
In his presentation Zelalem said that the Electronic Cargo Tracking System components (ECTS) include tracking reader, electronic seal, GPSGPRS modem (fleet management device) and ETCS software platform. The tanker tracking system enables the company to monitor the location of the truck, the behavior of the driver and the dispensing valves of the tanker. Zelalem said the tanker tracking system reports an unauthorized opening of the fuel tanker. “Once the fuel is loaded at the port it will automatically shut down the valve and if some one tries to open it along the way it will report it to the headquarters of both NOC and Global Tracking,” Zelalem told journalists.
The contractor and client can monitor how the driver of each tanker truck is driving. “We can learn about his speeding and reckless driving and we can instantly make him stop the truck,” Zelalem said.
According to him, the tanker tracking system enables them to reduce fuel cost by 10-15 percent, accident rate by 50 percent and maintenance cost by 40 percent. Global Tracking has been working on this project since April 2014 and run a pilot project on two trucks. The company will soon start installing the system on 200 jet fuel tankers and eventually on 800 tankers that transports fuel for NOC.
Zelalem said that Ethiopian insurance companies pay a huge amount of compensation for motor accidents adding that this could be reduced significantly by applying the new technology. Fuel theft and waste could also be controlled while transport cost would be significantly reduced. “According to my estimate an insurance company in Ethiopia pays 20-30 million dollars unnecessary compensation payments for motor accidents.”
Global Tracking Technology is based in Falls Church, Virginia, with operation office in Addis Ababa. Established in 2008 it provides ICT based tracking technology solutions. It began operating in Ethiopia seven years ago. The company so far deployed 3000 fleet management modems in Ethiopia. Its customers include DH Geda, East Africa Bottling, National Cement, MOHA Soft Drinks and Tracon Trading.
Tadesse said that fuel theft and adultery is a major problem in the industry. “NOC wants to deliver the exact amount of fuel it received to customers. Fuel mixed with other materials are damaging cars and machines. We are criticized for the wrong doings that we are not involved in. Now this new technology will enable us to protect all these mishaps,” Tadesse told government officials.
The Minister of Transport, Workneh Gebeyehu, State Minister of the Ministry of Trade, Ali Siraj, and Kassahun Hailemariam, general manager of Ethiopian Transport Authority, lauded NOC’s effort to modernize and ensure the security of fuel tankers. The officials called upon other petroleum companies to follow suit.
The Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) is installing ECTS on cargo trucks. Kassahun said that the authority installed the modems on 100 trucks as a pilot project and it is to try it on another 500 trucks. The country introduced cargo tracking proclamation in 2011.
NOC is one of the seven private petroleum companies operating in Ethiopia. It has so far invested one billion birr and runs 145 fuel stations across the country. According to Tadesse, the company will build additional 30 fuel stations this year. NOC has built an aviation fuel depot at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. It has a plan to an build aviation fuel depot at the new airports in Semera and Kombolcha.
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