The outgoing Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR),Kwame Awuah Darko, has urged his successor to pursue expansion drive and increase the competitiveness of the refinery.
He argues TOR could lose its economic potential if plans are not implemented to strengthen the current benefits accruing to the company.
Mr. Awuah-Darko’s suggestions follow plans by Nigerian business magnate, Aliko Dangote to establish a multi-billion dollar refinery with a daily capacity of 650,000 barrels, by 2019.
According to him, the conditions provided for by ECOWAS for refineries producing within the sub-region to enjoy economies of scale should spur TOR to be competitive.
“When ECOWAS has sat down and come up with a protocol that says if you are a refinery in West Africa and you refine indigenous oil, your products go into the West African market without paying any taxes or customs, that means that if you have a refinery in Ghana that is producing above Ghana’s capacity, Ghana can be a major supplier of petroleum products into the sub region,” Mr. Awuah-Darko stated.
The exiting MD further explained to Citi Business News a failure to revamp TOR’s production to meet the competition will have dire consequences on Ghana’s petroleum prospects in the short to medium term.
“If we don’t take those things serious and conclude in 2017 and Alico Dangote’s refinery comes up on stream, it will be difficult to raise money to do that. So leadership must always look ahead and not look at just what is in front of us. By looking ahead, you put your country, economy and society at a competitive advantage,” he opined.
The comments come at a time that TOR has announced a ramp up in its production levels by an additional 20,000 barrels of crude.
Currently, the refinery operates at a capacity that allows it to refine up to 45, 000 barrels of crude per day.
The increase follows recent expansion projects carried out by the refinery.
BOST announces turnaround of company’s operations
In the meantime, the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) has announced a significant increase in the company’s assets between 2013 and 2016.
According to the exiting management, its asset revaluation exercise for the period has increased its balance sheet from 314 million to 1.04 billion cedis.
Speaking at a media encounter in Accra, Mr. Awuah Darko was also hopeful that the strides made will propel further growth of the company.
“Debt restructuring being a key component of our turnaround, it became necessary for management to ascertain the exact amount of debt stock it actually was obligated to. Fortunately that period is behind us and BOST has a net positive position with regards to its balances with the BDC’s in excess of USD18 million. BOST has initiated steps to reclaim the money’s owed it by the BDCs,” he intimated.