Allegations against TOR Board unsubstantiated, unfortunate – Management

The Board and Management of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) have dismissed accusations made by some workers of the refinery who are members of the Union of Commerce, Industry and Finance (UNICOF) and the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union.

The workers had said the board and management have shown very little commitment and sense of urgency in improving the fortunes of the refinery.

Speaking to TV3’s Josephine Antwi-Adjei, in an interview on Wednesday November 4, the Chairman of UNICOF, Bright Adongo said “the workers went out of their job description and made proposals to the board which interestingly will not cost them a dime to implement yet they failed to exercise their oversight responsibility and get work done”.

Bright Adongo who represents workers of UNICOF in the refinery further expressed disappointment in the failure of the board to assure workers of the future prospects of revenue inflows.

He further alleged that the refinery is still indebted to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Water Company Limited.

“What we want to say is that with immediate effect the president must dissolve the board because it is in a state of disarray and we are not happy,” he said.

The chairperson of the Ghana Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union, Serwa Duncan – Williams also claimed that, the board failed to secure partnerships from several investors who had expressed interest in expanding the refinery’s capacity between 100,000 to 150,000 BPSD.

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Responding to their claims in a statement signed by Dr Kingsley Antwi-Boasiako, Corporate and Public Affairs Manager, the management of TOR said “For the Union to say that the Board has made no significant contributions to the Company is unsubstantiated and unfortunate.

“As at January 2017 the financial accounts of TOR had not been audited since 2013. In addition TOR had outstanding debts of around US$345million and also about GHS1.04Billion owed to third parties, traders and financial institutions.

“Statutory liabilities owed GRA and SSNIT as well as the Utility companies and others amounted to circa GHS84.4million. In addition about GHS11.8 million staff related liabilities were outstanding as at December 31. 2016. It is not surprising that the TOR’s books had not been audited since 2009.

“It is instructive to note that when the current Board was constituted in 2017, they discovered that TOR had missed three cycles of critical Turnaround Maintenance, which had not been carried out since 2009. The neglect of critical maintenance prior to the constitution of the current Board had resulted in deteriorated refinery plant which was characterized by frequent shutdowns, inefficient operations and an unsafe working environment for the cherished staff of TOR.

“It is therefore also unfortunate that prior to the appointment of the current Board, one of the refinery’s two crude heaters exploded.

“This effectively reduced the refinery’s processing capacity from the name plate capacity of 45,000 barrels Per Stream Day (BPSD) to about 25,000 BPSD. The reduced processing capacity led to its attendant reduction in revenues since it rendered the refinery only capable of processing at half of its design capacity.”

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By Laud Nartey||Ghana