The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) has called on government to provide clear timelines on when the rehabilitation of the Tema Oil Refinery will be completed.
The call comes after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo while delivering this year’s May Day address disclosed that government is in the process of rehabilitating the Tema Oil Refinery which has not been fully operational for a number of years.
Reacting to the development in an interview with Citi Business News, Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, was elated by moves to rehabilitate the state-owned oil refinery in order to help stabilize fuel prices.
“We’ve said this time without number that you cannot be an oilproducing country and crown your refinery the way we have done.
The way forward is to get the refinery up and running. Get a portion of your oil entitlement to be refined locally so that there’s that petroleum security that also takes away the logistical cost of importing fuel from Europe. If you don’t do these things, your fuel prices would continue to be a cost rising thing that any time there’s an inconvenience geopolitically, your people will have to pay more,” Duncan Amoah explained.
He continued, “So, fixing the refinery is paramount. We are happy that he’s now indicating that there are plans to fix it.
Timelines will need to be given so the people can at least hold authorities accountable for this.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Public Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe had earlier disclosed government had begun receiving a number of proposals from potential strategic investors for a probable restructuring of the Tema Oil Refinery.
The state-owned oil refinery has not been operating for a number of years due to an array of technical challenges and managerial setbacks. Due to this, there have been various calls from stakeholders to get strategic investors to ensure the refinery is running again.
Joseph Cudjoe said the proposals being received at the moment from potential strategic investors seeks to offer funding and technological skills for the operation and management of the refinery.
“At the moment, the Ministry of Energy is receiving proposals from potential strategic investors for restructuring, and so we are looking at that window where the strategic investors can bring in the necessary funds, technical expertise and technologies for it to operate as expected. At the moment, it is not operating at the level it is expected to operate at,” the minister said.
The Tema Oil Refinery is a wholly-owned Ghanaian entity that has been refining crude oil since 1963. It has the capacity to produce 45,000 barrels per stream day but is currently producing about 26,000 barrels.
The refinery, situated in Tema, was originally named the Ghanaian Italian Petroleum (GHAIP) Company and incorporated as a private limited liability company under the Companies Ordinance (Cap 193) on December 12, 1960.
It was 100 percent owned by the ENI Group (Ente Nationalise Indrocarburi) of Italy until the government of Ghana bought all the shares of GHAIP in April 1977 and became the sole shareholder.