IES doubtful over viability of strategic Petroleum Hub

The government must revamp the operations of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) if it intends to go ahead with plans for its strategic petroleum hub, the Institute of Energy Securities (IES) has said.

According to the Executive Director of the institute, Nana Amoasi VII explained plans to establish a Petroleum Hub in the Western Region will not be futile if the challenges at the TOR are not addressed.

“In Ghana today, we have one of the largest oil storage capacity. Talk of Tema Oil Refinery, talk of BOST. We have a refinery that can work, and we have fields that we produce from, why can’t we tie all these streams into one, so we get our oil from offshore Ghana in deep waters and shallow waters and bring it to Tema Oil Refinery and then give it to BOST to store. We have Tema closer to many countries around West Africa,” he told Citi Business News.

“So, creating a Petroleum Hub is something that will fit in but go and look for a green land like the Western Region and say you are starting this program requiring more than 60 billion dollars to create the hub with the government injecting just about 10 percent of it is quite a huge thing. We believe at IES we can bite small and chew more as we go,” Nana Amoasi VII said.

He added, “Tema Oil Refinery and BOST should be the central focus of this hub. If we can reposition TOR, make it profitable and make it work, we are starting from somewhere. So, we believe in the hub but the way they are going about it, we don’t think it will work.”

Meanwhile, some union workers of the Tema Oil Refinery last week demanded the dissolution of the current board.

According to them, the board and its management have shown very little commitment to the refinery’s operations and a lack of a sense of urgency in improving the fortunes of the refinery.

Chairperson of the Ghana Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union, Serwaa Duncan-Williams, has also claimed that the board failed to secure partnerships from several investors who had shown interest in expanding the refinery’s capacity between 100,000 to 150,000 barrels per stream day (BPSD).

Also, Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of the petroleum sector, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, under the governing Akufo-Addo administration disclosed that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) inherited a debt of US$345 million at TOR from the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) under former President John Mahama.

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