TOR Loses $280,000

According to TOR, each metric tonne of naphtha – a colourless liquid that is flammable found in hydrocarbons which is a component of natural gas condensate – is said to cost a little over $900.

Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, who toured the incident site for first-hand information of the tragedy, has instituted an investigation into the cause of the fire. A report on it has to be available to his outfit within one week.

He questioned the security personnel about the safety of the pipelines, urging the country’s refinery company to work quickly to ensure that the necessary repair works were done for a lasting solution to prevent reoccurrence of the incident.

He mourned the death of the deceased who was burnt to death, and challenged TOR management to do more to ensure the safety of the community and public assets.

Armah Kofi Buah and the TOR Acting MD at the site of the incident with some staff

Mr. Easimon Asamoah, Acting Managing Director of the refinery, briefed the Minister on the day of the incident – April 29, 2014 – that the company commenced the export of naphtha through a 14-inche diameter pipeline.

According to him, at about 2:00 pm, TOR security personnel stationed at observation Post 3 behind CPC, where the incident occurred, informed the safety department of the oil company about a product leakage.

He said that the TOR safety personnel confirmed the leakage and maintained that the naphtha export into a ship at the harbour was suspended, immediately the leakage was detected.

The Acting MD further indicated that the safety and maintenance personnel mobilized resources with intent to check the leakage, adding that on reaching the scene, there was a crowd scooping the finished product away from the source of the leakage.

He said the national security and the police personnel were immediately informed to come and disperse the crowd because gasoline was channeling through some drainage. He said a thick smoke was subsequently detected, and thereafter fire engulfed the whole area.

Mr. Asamoah said management had been to the site to examine the extent of damage and that inspection personnel had been dispatched to the site to evacuate the water and foam which were used by the firemen to put out the fire.

According to him, it had been ascertained that all the five different diameters of pipelines in the area had been tarred as hardness test – which would last less than two weeks – would have to be done on all the affected ones to know the extent of damage.

He explained that when the lines pass the hardness test they   will be wire-brushed and used, but if they do not pass the hardness test, then preparation of the pipelines will be done for repair works, which will last for weeks.

He assured the public that TOR has enough stock and that supply of petroleum products would not be affected.

 From Vincent Kubi, Tema

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