The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Ltd. (BOST) could return into the fold of the beleaguered Tema Oil Refinery, if the Awauh-Darko led management — which has been tasked to look at that possibility — recommends same to government.
Critics have wondered why Kwame Awuah Darko has been asked to double as MD of both entities, but he explained to the B&FT that aside from reviving TOR he was also tasked to look at the possibility of merging the two companies and make recommendations accordingly.
He indicated, however, that: “We haven’t got to that stage yet. At this point in time we are bringing TOR out of the coma to bring it into full commercial operations, and the commitment we made is six months; we are two and a half months into the process. We have three and a half months left to go, and it is hard work. But I am so encouraged by the support we have got from the workers of TOR”.
As part of their commitment to bring about a turn around, TOR workers, he said, have agreed to allow their November 2015 salaries — a total GH¢3.8million – to be ploughed back into operations.
“The agreement we signed is that when the plant comes back up into operation, we will pay them back their monies,” Awuah-Darko said.
“I can guarantee you that in the next four months TOR and BOST will be producing the highest quality petroleum products at a lowest price than anybody can import into the country. We believe that this will give our supply agreement with Mali and Burkina Faso high competitive pricing to enable us guarantee additional throughput from the Bolga facility.”
Both entities have over the years been bogged down by a plethora of difficulties, which Awuah Darko himself admits was the result of mismanagement.
“Today you and I pay an additional 1pesewa per litre [as TOR debt recovery levy], which if TOR had been well run we would not have to pay. But as a result of that challenge, we all as citizens of Ghana are paying more for fuel than we actually should.”
When he took over at BOST a couple of years ago, Awuah Darko told the media that he found the company in a state of ‘coma’ and went on to give timelines toward its revival — including efforts to revive pipeline and storage facilities in Buipe and Bolgatanga.
On October 12, 2015, a ceremony was held in Bolga to re-commission the 36,000tonne facility there, which had been idle for nine years. Awauh-Darko announced at the same ceremony that BOST’s 267-kilometre pipeline between the Buipe and Bolgatanta depots has been revived.
In the process, he said, some 8.2million litres was recovered from 9million litres of fuel which had been sitting in the pipeline for nine years.
At the ceremony, BOST also signed an MoU with its counterpart in Burkina Faso — Sonahby — to commence supply of petroleum products into the landlocked country.
“The plan is to go immediately to about 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of petroleum products every month [to Burkina Faso] and then gradually ramp up to about 30,000 tonnes,” Awuah-Darko told the media.