Gov’t Struggles To Save TOR

Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy & Petroleum

Government says it is focused on transforming the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) into a world-class facility. Currently, TOR needs a minimum

of $600 million as capital to be able to process crude oil continuously, according to Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy & Petroleum.

The state refinery has not been operating at full capacity in recent times due to its huge indebtedness and other operational inefficiency.

Speaking to journalists in Accra yesterday, the Minister stressed that government was not ready to sell TOR in spite of the numerous challenges.

Recently, reports said that government was planning to sell TOR to a private entity to make it efficient.

However, Mr Buah said his ministry was working with TOR to address the fiscal challenges.

‘Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is not for sale. Not under my watch, not under the watch of His Excellency the President.

‘Our focus is to make sure that Tema Oil Refinery is expanded and operating efficiently and has the working capital to get the crude to

constantly refine products efficiently without the losses at the levels,’ he said.Mr. Buah said currently TOR was facing difficulties in getting License of Credit to procure crude, explaining that ‘the last few months TOR tried to get crude but for two months it could not get LC.

‘We know the challenges and we are all passionate about TOR. We have to fix the structural problems and make the refinery more efficient, and that is exactly what we are doing,’ he said.

Mr. Buah said discussions were on-going and that the commercial framework to restructure the refinery was being finalized.

He said a stakeholders’ meeting had been slated for mid September to discuss the shareholders agreement, government support consent agreement and other related off-taker agreements.

‘Timelines for negotiation and execution of documents including submission to cabinet and parliament are expected in the last quarter of the year,’ Mr. Buah said.

He said the management of TOR was aggressively negotiating with international and local financial institutions for funding to execute the annual mandatory maintenance in October and also to fund the supply of feedstock/ crude pending the completion of negotiations for all Project Management Agreements and Government Consent and Support Agreements.

BY Cephas Larbi
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