The outgoing Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Kwame Awuah Darko, has urged his successor to pursue the expansion drive and increase the competitiveness of the refinery.
He argued that TOR could lose its economic potential if plans are not implemented to strengthen the current benefits accruing to the company.
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, the country can be a major supplier of petroleum products into the sub-region,” Mr. Awuah-Darko stated.
The outgoing MD further explained that a failure to revamp TOR’s production will have dire consequences on Ghana’s petroleum prospects in the short to medium term.
“If we don’t take those things seriously 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.