The Institute for Energy Security (IES) is appealing once again to President Nana Akufo-Addo to bring back the Tema Oil Refinery in the shortest possible time to refine and sell petroleum products at cheaper prices.
In a statement, it expressed worry that an oil producing country with a refinery capacity of 45,000 barrels per stream day would have its top government officials abandon its domestic competitive advantage, and rather seek to import refined petroleum product elsewhere, in the name of reliability and affordability.
This is coming after President Akufo-Addo announced that the government will be looking for reliable and regular sources of affordable petroleum products for Ghanaians in order to reduce the hardship brought about by the increase in fuel prices.
The IES on June 16, 2022 called for President Akufo-Addo’s intervention to, as a matter of urgency, revive the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) at a that time a gallon of diesel was selling for ¢55.
Price of a liter of diesel and petrol has since seen an astronomical increase of roughly 79% and 95% respectively.
As part of the concerns, the IES also indicated that the Minister in charge of the sector, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, was failing to provide the required leadership to urgently lift TOR out of its present condition.
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 its 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.