Government seeking strategic partners to invest in TOR – Public Enterprises Minister

The Public Enterprises Minister, Joshua Cudjoe, says government is in search of a strategic partner to invest in the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

He said the strategic investor will bring in the required capital to revamp the company.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Wednesday, Mr. Cudjoe said, “given the revenue constraint the state has at the moment and capitalisation of TOR to enable it to turn around, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta would let you know and I support that we won’t use tax money to go and fix it.”

His comment was on the back of the release of the 2019 State Ownership Report which captured various losses of State-Owned Enterprises from 2015 to 2019.

According to the maiden edition of the State Ownership Report, SOEs and Joint Venture Companies (JVCs) reported net losses of GH¢1,375.33 million and GH¢2,341.37 million respectively in 2019.

In 2020, the SOEs reported a ¢5.3 billion loss in their operations in the 2020 fiscal year, according to the Finance Ministry. Among the list of companies highlighted in the document to have contributed to this figure, was the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

Asked by host Winston Amoah why TOR is still operating despite recording losses over the period, the Minister explained that the “state has an interest in the business module of TOR. This is an entity that is set up to refine oil.

“So to the extent that studies are going on, you’ll see losses being incurred but this is normal corporate thing; when your company is taking a strategic decision in the period that the decision has not been implemented, coping mechanisms must be adopted,” he added.