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Rage over Sentuo Oil’s employment capacity after $261m tax exemptions



According to a document sighted by GhanaWeb, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, submitted a request for parliament approval to consider and approve the waiver of “Import duties, Import NHIL, Import GETFUND, Import VAT, and EXIM levy, amounting to Ghana Cedi equivalent of Two Hundred and Six-One Million, Six Hundred and Forty-Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Three United States Dollars (US$261,648,353) in favour Sentuo Oil Refinery Limited.”

Sentuo Oil Refinery Ltd was said to be applying for a Strategic Investor, under section 26 (4) of the GIPC Act 2013, Act 865 on materials and equipment.

The document also stated that the President granted executive approval for the tax waiver in its letter dated February 6, 2023, for the consideration and action of Parliament.

However, the refinery is said to have a bigger capacity than the Tema Oil Refinery but employs only about 420 personnel whereas TOR employs more than 650 personnel

“The refinery anticipates employing about 420 personnel. Staffing for the Refinery primarily consists of process units and auxiliary facilities personnel and is therefore driven by the characteristics of the Refinery’s facilities which range from complex processing units to somewhat simplified utility and offsite systems,” parts of the document read.

“In addition, a second major driver is that the Refinery operates continuously with a minimum annual on-stream time of 8,400 hours. For continuously operated units, there will be three shifts rotating in the daily cycle with a fourth shift required as relief, while for non-continuously operated units, two shifts or one shift according to needs,” it added.

There have however been emerging reports that Ghanaian engineers working at Sentuo are underpaid.

Also, concerns have been raised over the worth of tax exemptions that have been granted Sentuo if the refinery is not serving the best interest of Ghanaians.

Background Sentuo of Group Company Limited 5 MTPA Refinery Project

Sentuo Oil Refinery Limited (hereinafter referred to as Sentuo Petrochemical) is owed by the Sentuo Group Limited, a private joint-stock enterprise that is jointly established by professionals engaged in innovative chemical technology development and industrial application, petrochemical project construction, energy, and petrochemical trade. Sentuo Petrochemical is managed and operated in accordance with the joint-stock enterprise model.

The company has invested over USS200 million in the country since its establishment in 2010.

It has constructed the Sentuo 800,000 T/A steel project (total investment of US$ 120 million) and the Sentuo ceramics project (Phase I project investment of USS80 million) in Tema Economic Development Zone, Ghana.

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