Gov’t engaging Chinese investor to revive TOR

Source The Ghana Report

The government has hinted that it is engaging prospective Chinese investors to revive the fortunes of the ailing Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

The Economic Adviser at the Vice President’s Office, Dr Kabiru Mahama, who disclosed this, said the government will soon finalize plans with the Chinese investor to kick start operations in 2023.

“TOR is not refining any product from our checks as we sit here. Not even a single barrel is being produced at TOR. They have had some of their machines broken down as a result of mismanagement.

“There are several factors that come into play which is not an issue I will want to dive into today. What I will want to say is that a Chinese investor is coming with a three billion investment to put up a refinery. This refinery is expected to start operation in the first quarter of 2023,” Mr. Mahama assured on GHOne News.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Energy Security (IES) has appealed to the government to restore the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) in the shortest possible time amid the increasing fuel prices.

According to the IES, the public ought to be updated on the status of the negotiation between TOR and the strategic partnership announced some months ago, in respect of the time the refinery is re-commencing operation after several months of inactivity.

In a press statement issued on Thursday, the energy think tank said: “Government’s sudden appetite for imported fuels to address reliability and cost-related issues can best be described as reactionary, morally indefensible, misplaced priority, and a deliberate attempt to increase the fiscal burden of the Ghanaian economy. It must be stated forcefully that “the state is better off prioritizing local crude refining, instead of importation of refined products.

“Once more, the Institute for Energy Security (IES) wishes to appeal to the President to look within— bring back TOR in the shortest possible time, refine Ghana’s crude domestically, work to strengthen the local currency, and ensure an adequate amount of Dollars is made available to importers of fuel.”

The Tema Oil Refinery, which is Ghana’s first and only refinery, has not been operational for a while now due to many challenges.

Several Civil Society Organisations, such as the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), and the Institute for Energy Security (IES), have been at the forefront of calls on the government to do all it can to get the refinery back on its feet.

In January 2019, the government announced an ambitious plan to build a new oil refinery to replace the Tema Oil Refinery within the next three to four years.

A litre of diesel and petrol has seen astronomical increases of roughly 79 per cent and 95 per cent, respectively.

Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) increased fuel prices thrice in a single pricing window, a cumulative 46 per cent for diesel and 37 per cent for petrol.

Some Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) declined to release fuel to the Ghanaian market, forcing some companies to shut down temporarily.

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