The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) is calling on government to invest in the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to prevent it from collapsing.
According to COPEC, per its investigations the situation at the refinery is dire and maintaining its day to day operations is a challenge.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah said efforts must be made at all cost to save the country’s only refinery from turning into a white elephant.
He added that, “Clearly three things are involved here; we’ve had in the past poor management practices where you expect certain things to be done right yet they are done the other way. We have also not had the right kind of investments and retooling and equipment, some of which were actually fixed in the ’80s and 70s.”
He explained further that TOR is indeed worth investing in.
“We think that the right investment must be made in the refinery. Refineries are profitable or else you wouldn’t see them in our neighbouring country, Nigeria. Dangote is struggling to put up a 650 barrels per day refinery. Ghana has this asset and that if we did put in the right investment, it should be able to serve all of us. Again, we have said that once TOR is working, you are getting fuel security. At least, if your harbour or the anchorage of where fuel comes into the country doesn’t function, your local refinery will be able to process fuel to run your economy. Unfortunately, the refinery is no its knees as we speak and we do think that authorities should pay some attention to investing properly into the refinery immediately.”
TOR was shut down two years ago over the lack of crude, as managers of the facility were unable to raise letters of credit.
But institutions like the integrated Centre for Democratic Development, ISODEC, believed the closure of the refinery was a deliberate attempt by the government to convert it into a tank farm, for the setting up of a new refinery in the Western Region.
In January 2019, government announced an ambitious plan to build a new oil refinery to replace the Tema Oil Refinery within the next three to four years.