Industry players in the oil and gas industry are calling on government to intensify measures to expand the capacity of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). This was made known during a workshop organized by Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas (CSPOG) in partnership with Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth (GOGIG).
The refinery was established in 1960 as Ghana Italian Petroleum Company (GHAIP) and later renamed as Tema Oil Refinery in 1991 and operates as the only crude oil refiner and seller of petroleum products in the country. It is expected to refine crude between the capacities of 45,000 to 60,000 barrels per stream per day. However, the refinery has lately been producing below capacity of 40,000 barrels per day. The low production rate has been attributed to the high debts bedeviling the refinery, lack of infrastructure and other logistics required to achieve its target.
Civil Society’s Take
The Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas has expressed worry over this inefficiency and has called on government to revamp the state owned institution to produce up to capacity in order to enjoy economies of scale. In an interview with the chairman of the Platform, Dr. Steve Manteaw said “We need to be able to expand the capacity beyond the current 20,000 barrels a day. In fact we could be going much beyond 45,000 barrels a day. We need to scale up to 100,000 barrels a day to be able to enjoy the economies of scale to reduce our own cost of production”.
He further reiterated the need to move away from staffing the state institution with party faithful’s who tend to mismanage the institution at the end of the day. “We need to move away from treating Tema Oil Refinery as a dumping ground for party foot soldiers” he noted. He also cautioned the new government to desist from such unhealthy practices and employ competent individuals who can efficiently and productively manage the refinery based on meritocracy and not just for holding allegiance to the party. Adding that this will help protect the public purse and ensure that the country gets get value for money from the premier state owned enterprise.
Ghana stands the chance of gaining much economically from revamping Tema Oil Refinery since it is the only state institution charged with the core responsibility of refining crude oil in the country.
www.reportingoilandgas.org Kwabena Tabiri