Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko must apologise to the workers of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and all Ghanaians, for his comments that the only state refinery in Ghana should be converted into a tank farm, Duncan Amoah, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, Ghana, has said.
Mr Agyarko announced his intention at an Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Houston, Texas, recently, saying the government intends establishing a new refinery hub in the Western Region, where most of Ghana’s oil activity takes place, to serve the West African sub-region.
Mr Agyarko said the new refinery would be ready within three or four years, and would be able to refine about eight times more crude in terms of quantity than the current 20,000 barrels per day by TOR.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Downstream Petroleum Colloquium by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in January 2018, Mr Agyarko said: “We want to make sure that in the next three to four years, we build a brand new TOR of about 150,000 barrels of oil per day throughput and then gradually ease out the old TOR which becomes a tank farm for the new TOR”.
He said: “Because the new TOR currently is at 20,000 barrels of oil per day, which is not satisfactory and if you ramp it up, the most you could get out of the old engine is 80,000 barrels of oil per day.”
According to Mr Agyarko, the building of a new refinery “is to create a hub in the Western Region where you have the refining, storage, transportation and trading all happening within an enclave. It will be largely export-oriented.”
Mr Agyarko added: “We’ve already put in place an implementation committee which is looking at all the facets and the regulations required. … In my speech, I made reference to the need to make adjustments to the law.
“We’ve sent out the various teams to look at all the other hubs that operate in the world. I believe that in the not too distant future – two, three years you will begin to see the actual manifestations of these developments,” Mr Agyarko said.
But commenting on this development on Ghana Yensom hosted by Chief Jerry Forson on Accra100.5FM on Friday, 11 May, Mr Amoah said: “The Energy Minister must apologise to TOR workers and all Ghanaians. Clearly his statement was misguided.”
“I have heard attempts by some people to rationalise his comments” by saying: ‘When they are converted into tank farms, the BDCs are going to benefit’”.
Mr Amoah, however, disagreed, saying: “If TOR doesn’t work, the BDCs will suffer, except for those who have their own tank farms.”