The Managing Director of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Isaac Osei has stated that the refinery is now in good condition under his leadership than what he succeeded, hence it is inappropriate to convert it into tank farm.
According to him, management had spent millions of money to rehabilitate the refinery which was left to rot since 2009 by the previous administration.
“We have spent money rehabilitating the plant. We have had three missing cycle of maintenance. As a result, since 2009 there has not been any shut down maintenance at TOR. But now we have been able to do this. We can’t going forward be accused of money and then scraping TOR. The work that we have done so far is exemplary,” he argued.
The Minister of Energy Boakye Agyarko who was addressing some investors on the sidelines of the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference(OTC) in Houston, Texas, USA said government of Ghana is planning to convert TOR into a tank farm after a new refinery which is estimated at $3 billion is built in the next couple of years.
According to him, the government was prepared to convert the facilities at TOR into a tank farm for the storage of refined petroleum products for internal use and for exports.
,But speaking to the issue Mr Isaac Osei who is also at the OTC though welcomed the decision to build new Refineries, rejected the decision to convert TOR into tank a farm.
He argued that the conversion of TOR into tank farm is not the way forward stressing that it would amount to waste of state resources especially when they have invested huge sums of money to rehabilitate the facilities at TOR.
“Additional Refineries are welcome and I think the government is right to ensure that we have new Refineries in the country probably in the export processing zone. But at the same time we must not lose sight of the fact that we have trained, experienced and competent technicians who are working in the present day TOR. TOR is a national asset and I don’t think converting it into tank farm is the way forward.
“As far as I’m concerned, the new refinery we are planning to build is part of our strategic plan. But its also part of our plan to ensure that the existing refinery work. And I have no doubt in my mind that with the kind of engineers and technicians we have at TOR the facility is now in a better place than it was before to work. And not only will it work, it will work efficiently and effectively and give meaning to the government programme of ensuring that the industrial sector works.
The former Member of Parliament for Subin constituency in the Ashanti Region sounded a warning that he will not preside over the scraping of TOR which had been in existence since 1960s.
“I didn’t come to TOR to preside over its demise. I have not come here to run this company in order that we end up scraping it,” he said.