The Institute for Energy Security, IES, is calling on
government to do all it can to ensure the Tema Oil Refinery is revived, in the
wake of hikes in prices of fuel at pump stations.
The call by the Institute comes on the back of a recent
announcement by President Akufo-Addo that steps are being taken to secure
reliable and regular sources of affordable petroleum products as part of
efforts to bring reprieve to consumers of the product.
In a statement, it expressed worry that an oil producing
country with a refinery capacity of 45,000 barrels per stream day would have it
top government officials abandon its domestic competitive advantage, and rather
seek to import refined petroleum product elsewhere, in the name of reliability
The IES, on June 16th 2022 called for His Excellency the
President’s intervention to as a matter of urgency revive the Tema Oil Refinery
(TOR). At that time, a gallon of diesel was selling for Gh¢55.
As part of the concerns, the IES indicated that the Minister
in charge of the sector was failing to provide the required leadership to
urgently lift TOR out of its present condition.
Between June 16th 2022 (when the IES called for the
President’s intervention) and now, many undesiring occurrences have been
recorded in the downstream petroleum sector, which has brought untold hardship
on citizens, and on industries in Ghana.
– Price of a liter of Diesel and Petrol has seen an
astronomical increase of roughly 79 percent and 95 percent respectively.
– Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) increased fuel prices
thrice in a single pricing-window, a cumulative 46 percent for Diesel and 37
percent for Petrol.
– Some Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) declined to
release fuel to the Ghanaian market, forcing some companies to shut down
The IES explained further that It beats one’s imagination
how an oil-producing country with a refinery capacity of 45,000 barrels per
stream day, would have it top government officials abandon its domestic
competitive advantage, and rather seek to import refined petroleum product
elsewhere, in the name of reliability and affordability.
“So soon we seem to have forgotten about the mandate of TOR,
and the dream of our founding father Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, for Ghana’s
petroleum industry and the economy as a whole. That is fair! But what about
President Akufo Addo’s plan for TOR, which he re-echoed on May Day 2022”.
It quoted President Akufo-Addo on May Day, saying,
“Nonetheless, intense efforts are being made to rehabilitate the Tema Oil
Refinery, to enable it contribute to stabilizing petroleum prices, which should
see the light of day very soon. The plan to enhance the dividends of the Tema
Oil Refinery, is part of a raft of measures by government to lessen the current
economic hardship in the country”.
“The trip to source for reliable and affordable fuel
elsewhere defeats the President’s proclaimed intention for TOR and the economy
of Ghana. Instead of giving priority to domestic refining of Ghana’s indigenous
crude oil, government is rather resorting to gambling on the importation of
liquid fuels without giving a thought to the guarantee of sufficient and
reliable supply of same”, it stressed.
It added that the government’s sudden appetite for imported
fuels to address reliability and cost related issues can best be described as
reactionary, morally indefensible, misplaced priority, and a deliberate attempt
to increase the fiscal burden of the Ghanaian economy.
“It may interest Ghanaians to know the status of the
negotiation between TOR and the strategic partner announced some months ago,
and for that matter when the refinery is re-commencing operation after several
months of inactivity”. It concluded.