Monday, February 18, 2013

Gov’t has no business building refineries – NPA Boss

Gov’t has no business building refineries – NPA Boss
Alex Mould

The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Alex Mould, has dismissed suggestions that government should build a second refinery to process crude oil locally.

He said the business of building a refinery should be left to the private sector.

After the announcement of new prices for petroleum products Sunday, there have been suggestions that government should consider building a refinery that is larger than the Tema Oil Refinery, to process crude oil. That is believed to significantly reduce the price of petroleum products in the country.

TOR has not seen a major investment in its operations in the last 15 years, and currently needs capital injection of about $200 million to enable it operate at full capacity.

But speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Monday, February 18, 2013, Mr. Alex Mould said “it does not make economic sense” for government to invest in building refineries.

“If you’re building a refinery you have to look at a refinery of huge economies of scale and you have to look at the West African region…Real question is why should government be involved in the building of a refinery; and why don’t the private sector do that,” Mr. Mould queried.

“Government should not be in the business of refining,” he emphasised.

The NPA Boss suggested that government should rather create the environment for the private sector to invest in refining to generate taxable incomes from which the state can make some money for social investment.

Government on Saturday announced a 15 to 20 per cent increase in fuel prices effective Sunday, February 17, 2013 based on the crude oil price of $116 per barrel and an exchange rate of GHS1.89/USD.

"The maximum indicative price for a litre of petrol will be GHS 2.0496 (GHS9.22 per gallon) and the maximum indicative prices for a litre of diesel will be GHS2.0683 will (GHS9.31 per gallon)" the statement said.

Kerosene is also up by 15 per cent and will be selling at 104. 65 pesewas per litre.

LPG is also up by 50 per cent and will be selling at 194.85 per litre or GHS24.36 per a 12.5 kg cylinder.

According to the release, the government has maintained some subsidy on the prices of petroleum products.

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