The Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), wants government to expedite processes of providing funding for the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to meet the new sulphur specification content for imported diesel.
It comes on the back of an ambitious plan by the ECOWAS member states to review the sulphur specification content for all refineries in the sub region to a maximum of 50 parts per million, by 2020.
Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has since reviewed downwards the country’s maximum sulphur specification content to between 500 ppm to 10 ppm.
“Ghanaians have sacrificed a lot for TOR, the company has been of service to the nation…That mortgaging health for political expediency must end…if 120 million dollars is needed as stated by the TOR CEO, that must be provided as quickly as practicable so as to facilitate the operations of the TOR,” CEO of the CBOD, Senyo Hosi stated.
The CEO of TOR, Kwame Awuah Darko earlier told Citi Business News it will cost the country about 120 million dollars to reconfigure its systems to meet the national revised sulphur content.
His comments followed concerns of the actual cost that the country will require in reconfiguring systems to meet the new sulphur specification content for imported diesel.
The need for a review in the sulphur content for diesel became indispensable after a recent publication by a Swiss NGO, Public Eye in collaboration with the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), revealed that the lives of citizens of eight African countries including Ghana were at risk over harmful emissions from use of diesel with high sulphur contents.
The figure was reported to have been about 300 times more than that permitted in Europe whose standard specification for sulphur in diesel is 10ppm.
The concerns subsequently compelled the NPA to announce a revision of the sulphur specification content for Ghana from the current 3000 ppm to 500 ppm for TOR and 10 ppm for importers.
It is worth to note that the Bulk oil distributors account for about 85 percent of the petroleum needs while TOR accounts for about 15 percent of the country’s petroleum needs.
Senyo Hosi further implored on government to be more committed and not trade the health of citizens for its interest.
“If we don’t want to then it should be clear that we do not want a refinery as a country but if we want to then funding and investment must be readily available. But if that is not that as an investment worth considering the opportunity cost to other social or economic infrastructure, then that distinction must be made,” he stressed.