Monday, November 10, 2014

TOR workers make strong case for troubled refinery

The junior staff chairman of the troubled Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) says the refinery has the capacity to process any crude oil in the world, especially the Jubilee crude, but financing has been a challenge.

“Although there has been some misconception that TOR cannot refine crude oil, we can; even the worst crude oil has been processed by us -- Jubilee crude is sweet, and what makes it sweet is the sulphur content of 0.22% which is equal to that of Nigeria.”

Mr. Emmanuel Eduah Offoh told this to B&FT in an interview on the sidelines of a forum organised by the General Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers’ Union of the Trades Union Congress (Ghana) in Takoradi.

He noted that successive governments over the years have not been able to invest capital into the company -- “government is sole shareholder of the refinery and every project or service we render to companies comes from our internally generated funds”.

From 2009, he noted that TOR has been battling with the state of the refinery -- “We have been to government on several occasions for support, and they made promises which have not been fulfilled.

“The forces that we are battling with are not easy; currently we are not processing because we do not have the crude oil to process, but we are doing our best to get some from the market,” he said.

According to him TOR is trying on its own to get credit, “but no single bank is ready to support us since we do not have a letter of credit from the Bank of Ghana.

Because of Single Obligor Limit, no bank can give us credit -- we buy the crude oil in dollars and sell in cedi. The Bank of Ghana says you can sell in cedi but we will not give you the dollar,” he added.

He pointed out that workers of TOR do not take salaries from the government chest, but from the company’s coffers -- the internally generated fund.

He added that TOR is ever-ready to refine any crude in the country, and urged stakeholders in the industry to support the company.

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