The Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has assured of the government’s support in reviving the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to boost downstream petroleum production.
According to the sector minister, any positive gains recorded by the state-owned refinery would help cushion the government in its operations.
Speaking at the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Limited Company (BOST) in Accra on Thursday, Dr. Prempeh said, “We believe that TOR and BOST can effectively collaborate if both institutions are doing well, and we at the Ministry of Energy will continue supporting efforts to make TOR the best refiner in Africa.”
He further commended BOST for being at the centre of the gold-for-oil policy and making a net profit of GHc342 million in the year 2022.
“BOST has been at the centre of the Gold for Oil policy, which seeks to provide fuel to Ghanaians at competitive prices by reducing our dependence on foreign exchange for imports of petroleum products.”
Dr. Prempeh commended the management of BOST for moving the state-owned institution from a debt-ridden firm to a profit-making one.
“On behalf of the government and the people of Ghana, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Board of Directors, Management and staff of BOST. The progress made by BOST exemplifies the path we should continue to follow, and we encourage you to increase the momentum to sustain this performance and strive for even greater heights.”
“BOST’s success contributes to the fiscal policies of the government and supports our national growth and development agenda. It is my expectation that other State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) will learn from the BOST story and replicate this performance. This, I believe will ensure that government can effectively execute its flagship programs using revenues generated by its SOEs,” the Minister added.
Woes of TOR
The Tema Oil Refinery which used to refine 45,000 barrels of crude oil a day has been on its knees for several years now.
Several efforts to revive TOR have been unsuccessful.
The managers of TOR recently refuted claims that the refinery was on the verge of a shutdown.
Some media reports had suggested that the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) had cut water supply to TOR for close to a month due to its inability to pay accumulated water bills that had amounted to GHC 4 million in arrears.
It was also alleged that TOR owed the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) about 2.3 million Ghana Cedis in arrears.
The Managing Director of the company has also been accused of engaging new workers despite the financial challenges TOR is facing.
TOR in a statement however denied these claims, saying the company is currently taking some measures to ensure its strategic turnaround.