TOR Workers Angry Over Crude

According to them, TOR should not be turned into a fuel depot to facilitate the activities of Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs).

The nation is said to be losing GH¢350,000 daily due to the shutdown of the plant.

Just like the BDCs held the nation to ransom due to government’s indebtedness, we might also take a similar step, they said.

Daniel Fugah, Chairman of the UNICOF at the TOR Division, addressing a news conference in Tema last Tuesday, mentioned that the refinery’s Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) plant has been shut down since 2011 due to TOR’s inability to obtain letters of credit (LCs) from its bankers to purchase crude oil for production.

The refinery’s inability to raise the LCs, he said, was as a result of an operation framework between the Commercial Banks and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) that restricted the banks from raising LCs beyond a certain limit depending on the business structure.

According to him, TOR’s bankers were willing to raise the LCs to buy the appropriate amounts of crude oil for the refinery.

He mentioned that government reneged on its promise of releasing the second part of the $67million for the plant stabilization and profit enhancement programme geared towards revamping the state refinery.

The Chairman said the workers would take drastic actions if government fails to intervene to restore operations at the refinery.

He wondered why some politicians claimed TOR was not viable while the refinery singled-handedly paid $270 million within six years instead of 12 years from Internal Generated Fund (IGF).

Explaining further, he said that as a matter of urgency, Bank of Ghana (BoG) should grant Letters of Comfort to assure the commercial banks in the procurement of crude oil.

He further stated BoG should consider a waiver of the Single Obligor Limit for TOR to enable banks to raise Letters of credit, adding that government, through National Petroleum Authority (NPA), should initiate steps to enable TOR procure crude oil from the Jubilee Fields on a 90-day credit basis.

From Vincent Kubi, Tema

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