TOR saga: The real truth

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-Minister and TOR board discussed new refinery on December 13, 2017

It has emerged that the idea of building a new 150,000 to 160,000 barrels-per-day-capacity refinery, after which the existing infrastructure of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) will be decommissioned and converted into a tank, was discussed as far back as December 13, 2017.

Information gathered by The Finder indicates that Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko discussed the issue with five, out of the eight, members of the TOR board.
The Solicitor Secretary of TOR was also present at the meeting. The agenda of the meeting included courtesy call, sulphur content of TOR products, preparations to restart TOR machines, the state of the refinery, as well as strategic direction of the refinery.
And as part of the strategic direction of the refinery, the building of a new refinery was discussed without opposition from anyone present.
This is in sharp contradiction to comments by the Managing Director of TOR, Isaac Osei, who denied knowledge of any such discussions.
Workers of TOR and the Tema District Council of Labour have descended heavily on Agyarko, accusing him of making the intention public in faraway America without the knowledge of the board, management and staff of the refinery. 
Meeting attendees
Present at the meeting were Board Chairman of TOR, Tongeaan Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang; Isaac Osei, MD of TOR; Dr William Abayaawiea Atuilik; Edith Sapara-Grant; and Seth Achamfour-Yeboah. 
According to information, the Minister agreed with the Board of TOR that the refinery needed a new refinery to replace the aged one, built in 1962. 
Agyarko asks TOR to look for a partner
Consequently, Agyarko asked TOR to look for a partner to invest in the new refinery for TOR, which would be built next to the existing refinery. 
New refinery to cost about $3 billion
According to estimates, the strategic partners are expected to invest between $2 billion and $3 billion to set up the new refinery. 
3-4 Years to construct new refinery 
It is estimated that the construction of the new refinery would take about three to four years to complete. 
TOR will continue to operate throughout the period of construction of the new refinery.
Existing TOR staff to work in new refinery 
When completed, all existing staff of TOR would work in the new refinery while more people would be employed as the new refinery is about three times bigger than the capacity of the existing TOR.
After the new refinery, which is expected to process between 150,000 and 160,000 barrels of crude a day is commissioned, it would need a huge tank farm to support the operations of the new refinery.
Decommissioning of old TOR
The proposal is to use the space of the decommissioned old TOR to build the tank farm for the new TOR refinery.
New refinery tank farm to hold 4 months’ supply of crude oil
This is critical because the new refinery would need tanks that can store about four months’ supply of crude oil, which translates into about 18 million barrels at any point in time.
120,000 Barrels of crude oil a day 
Ghana consumes 120,000 barrels of crude oil per day. 
TOR refining 20,000 barrels per day
However, TOR is only able to refine 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day, with the hope of scaling up to 45,000 barrels a day.
100,000 Barrels deficit currently 
The current 20,000 barrels per day leaves a deficit of 100,000 barrels of refined products per day the country has to import.
Financial health of TOR
The financial health of TOR is not known as information indicates that the refinery has not submitted any audited accounts for over three years now.
With ageing equipment and small capacity, the profitability of the refinery is in doubt.

By Elvis DARKO, Accra

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ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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