The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has disclosed to Citi Business News that its test run of crude oil from the TEN fields should influence any major policy decision on the sulphur specification content for diesel.
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has since September 2016, revised the national sulphur content specification for diesel from the 1000 parts per million (ppm) to between 500 and 10 ppm.
It followed numerous concerns over the threats of imported diesel which contains high sulphur content.
“The reason why we wanted to run the TEN crude is because you do not plan your refinery on the basis of external crude but domestic crude. The sulphur content is the function of the crude so if TEN has low sulphur content which we are hopeful of, we should be getting relatively lower sulphur content than the other crude that we have been refining,” Managing Director of TOR, Kwame Awuah Darko told Citi Business News.
He added that the outcome should also help the Petroleum Ministry determine the next line of action on regulation for the sulphur specification content for diesel in Ghana.
“Once we have that we are going to advise the Ministry of Petroleum and the National Petroleum Authority on the way forward.”
TOR will from this weekend commence refining about 1 million barrels of crude from the TEN oil fields. The Managing Director of TOR, Kwame Awuah Darko explains that the process which is expected to last for about twenty days will also inform the outfit of the commercial value of the by-products.
“It is the yield that we are looking at because obviously, TOR is a commercial operation…if you get a crude that works for your refinery, for a million barrels, you should get close to 50 to 55,000 tonnes of diesel and 28 to 31,000 tonnes of gasoline anything below that will mean that the economics are not good,” he remarked.
With a daily refinery of 20,000 barrels of oil, Mr. Awuah Darko further intimated that the process is expected to last for approximately twenty days, extending into the first week of January 2017.
According to him, the refinery has already finished discharging all the one million barrels of crude unto TOR’s tanks and it is hoping to finish off the other crude left and complete by the end of week.