Government has announced an ambitious plan to build a new oil refinery to replace the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) within the next three to four years.
Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, who disclosed this says the new facility should increase the supply of refined products in Ghana.
This is also part of attaining the energy hub status that the government is aiming at in the short to medium term.
The announcement comes days after the Institute of Energy Security (IES) warned of some impact on fuel supply should government fail to resolve the operational challenges at TOR.
Currently, TOR is able to refine crude up to 20,000 barrels of oil per day.
But Boakye Agyarko has told Citi Business News this should increase by about seven times to 150,000 barrels of oil with the new refinery.
The new facility is also estimated at 4 billion dollars.
He spoke on the sidelines of the Downstream Petroleum Colloquium by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
“We want to make sure that in the next three to four years, we build a brand new TOR of about 150,000 barrels of oil per day throughput, and then gradually ease out the old TOR which becomes a tank farm for the new TOR. Because the new TOR currently is at 20,000 barrels of oil per day which is not satisfactory, and if you ramp it up, the most you could get out of the old engine is 80,000 barrels of oil per day,” he stated.
The IES’ concerns among others had to do with leadership challenges at the refinery, which it argues has contributed to the inability to sustain operations.
The Energy Minister further disclosed plans to review the current laws governing the downstream sector.
The move will among others dwell on strategic stock management, increased access to petroleum products as well as improved quality of petroleum products.
Mr. Agyarko further revealed that, an implementation committee has begun the necessary research work to guide the formulation of such laws and achieve the energy hub target in the interim.
“We have already put in place an implementation committee which is looking at all the facets and regulations required which is why I have emphasized the need to look at the law again,” he added.
The colloquium on the theme, “Then, Now and the Future”, is to create a platform for the sector Ministry, Authority and its stakeholders for dialogue and information dissemination of industry activities, policy directions of the sector Ministry, trends and opportunities.
This is also to ensure the continuous growth and development of the petroleum downstream.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana