Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Security (IES), Paa Kwasi Anamoah Sakyi, has urged government to intervene to stop the imminent shutdown of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) over unavailability of crude oil.
“We will rather appeal to the government to give them the backing,” he said in an interview with Class91.3FM on Wednesday, 21 June 2018.
Highly-placed sources at TOR told Class News on Wednesday that the situation is as a result of TOR’s inability to raise letters of credit to import crude oil for processing.
Class News’ checks have revealed that the last time TOR managed to import crude was between December 2016 and January 2017. Further checks also revealed that TOR shut down the Crude oil Distillation Unit (CDU) two weeks ago after it finished processing the remainder of some 2 million barrels of crude it had in stock.
Between that period, the Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracker (RFCC) has been processing atmospheric residue and that is expected to be completed Wednesday.
In effect, both the RFCC and CDU will be out of operation until TOR is able to raise credit to import crude oil.
Mr Sakyi stressed that: “We cannot just look at it to go down after a successful turnaround, most of their equipment are good and they (TOR) are in good position to the extent that the product we are getting after the turnaround is good”.
Alternatively, he suggested that “a strategic investor” be brought in “to support the refinery”.
He wondered if the pending shutdown was part of a bigger plan to turn TOR into a tank farm as proposed by Energy Minister Boakye Agarko
“Is it that they are kicking in the tank farm idea suggested by the Minister? The refinery cannot be a tank farm,” he underscored.
He was of the view that a total shutdown of TOR will lead to huge job losses and the socio-economic impact will be devastating.