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Govt has no intention to sell TOR — Buah

  • SOURCE: | qwesa2big
  • Emmanuel A.K.BuahGovernment has no intention to sell the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). It is rather committed to ensuring that it operates efficiently with consistent supply of crude oil.

    It is also engaged in raising working capital for its smooth operations and to improve its efficiency.

    The Minister for Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, made this known when he answered questions in Parliament last Wednesday.

    Reacting to a supplementary question by Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, Member for Adansi Asokwa, that suggested that the ministry was rather trying to collapse the refinery, Mr Armah-Kofi Buah stressed that it was not the intention of the ministry to collapse TOR, but rather to work to improve its operations.

    Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, member for Tema East, had asked about the efforts being made by the ministry to assist TOR to procure crude oil to refine.

    Mr Armah-Kofi Buah explained that in 2011, the ministry conducted a comprehensive audit of the refinery which identified its challenges as mainly technical and commercial and concluded that it needed to complete a plant stabilisation and enhancement project on the crude distillation unit and residual fluid catalytic cracking units to enable it to run efficiently.

    He said after the audit, Tor submitted a comprehensive action plan and capital expenditure budget  for a plant stabilisation and profitability enhancement project which amounted to US $67.7 million.

    He said subsequently, the ministry facilitated the release of the first tranche of US$30 million from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to TOR to initiate implementation of the enhancement project and that work on the first phase of the project had been substantially completed.

    He said earlier this year, the MoF satisfactorily completed an internal audit to validate the disbursement of the US$30 million by TOR and added that after the audit, the petroleum ministry and TOR had engaged the MoF to release the outstanding balance of US$37.7 million which had been approved and was awaiting disbursement.

    Mr Armah-Kofi Buah said since the first phase of the rehabilitation was completed, a number of companies had expressed interest in the supply of crude to TOR. He explained further that the ministry would continue to work with TOR  to ensure the full completion of the enhancement project since it was the surest way of ensuring that the refinery run at optimal level to enable it to secure consistent supply of crude oil.

    Mr Francis Addai-Nimoh wanted to find out from the minister if  TOR would be able to refine crude oil at the moment. In response, the minister said they were working on the efficiency of the refinery process. Pressed to disclose the efficiency level of the refinery, Mr Armah-Kofi Buah said he would find out and inform the House later.


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