Business News of Thursday, 7 February 2019
Energy Analyst Ishmael Agyekumhene has expressed doubt about the ability of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to operate fully should private investors get involved.
He believes more needs to be done to revamp the nation’s only oil refinery.
The Tema Oil Refinery, with a capacity to refine roughly 45,000 barrels of crude oil a day, was forced to shut down severally after the company said it was operating far below capacity. It cited a shortage of crude oil products.
But some Energy Analysts had raised concerns that the issue had to do with leadership challenges at the refinery, which they said contributed to the inability to sustain its operations.
However, the Managing Director of TOR, Isaac Osei has called for the involvement of private investors in the company’s operations to push the company to operate at full capacity.
He believes the involvement of private investors will complement the company’s efforts aimed at boosting its full capacity.
But speaking to Citi Business News, Energy Analyst and Chairman of the Technical Committee of the PURC, Ishmael Agyekumhene said TOR needs more than just private investors to revamp their operations.
“It depends on the kind of private sector involvement. If you want the private sector to invest in the current TOR, I will be very surprised at the private sector investors looking at where TOR is now,” he said adding that “revamping the existing TOR, I am not too sure that too many private sector entities would want to put their money in there”.
He suggested that “Unless of course the private sector is bringing fuel to be refined so that TOR then becomes almost like a toll in refinery, but in the current state that they cannot even guarantee continuous production for about a month and beyond, I doubt if the private sector will want to put their money in this current form.”
Government last year announced an ambitious plan to build a new oil refinery to replace the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) within the next three to four years.
The then Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, who disclosed this said the new facility should increase the supply of refined products in Ghana.
However, the new refinery is yet to see the light of day.