Plan to build new oil refinery good but rehabilitate TOR – Gov’t told

The government of Ghana has been told to revamp the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) despite plans to build a new one.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced that the government was building a new refinery while delivering his speech at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday September 21.

Mr Akufo-Addo said “The African Continental Free Trade Area, whose Secretariat is located in Accra, Ghana’s capital, is driving intra-Africa trade and creating an unparalleled momentum for our continent’s economic diversity and transformation.

“We know that industrialisation is the way to go and, with the single market as the added incentive, we have taken policy measures in Ghana to add value to our natural resources. For example, we are processing more of our cocoa, refining more of our gold, and we are determined to exploit the entire value chain of our huge lithium deposits.

“We are busily building an integrated bauxite and aluminium industry and an integrated iron and steel industry, building new oil refineries and have, so far, attracted six (6) of the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers to set up assembling plants in Ghana, prior to producing them in the country.

“In line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Africa’s ambition is to transform our food systems over the next decade, anchored in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth.

“What we require now is support from the investor community for the rolling out of Africa’s lucrative agro-industry, and for the community to see agribusiness in Africa as much more an opportunity than the perceived, exaggerated risk which has been the false, but dominant narrative.”

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Commenting on this in a tweet, the Director of Research at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Dr John Kwakye described this as good news.

“It’s been reported that an oil refinery is being built and will start production in the coming months. This is good news.

“But what is the status of TOR? TOR must be rehabilitated at all cost. Even if we have to borrow to do so, we must because it is a viable investment.”

It is recalled that the Institute of Energy Security (IES) earlier indicated that the TOR faces imminent collapse under the leadership of the sector minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh. 

The energy think tank stated that the refinery needed government intervention in order to get it back on track to optimum operation because the facility is in debt in excess of GH¢400 million. 

Nut the Energy Ministry dismissed the claims of IES

A statement issued said “The Ministry wishes to assure Ghanaians that Dr. Prempeh is resolutely committed to ensuring that TOR is put on a sound footing to support Ghana’s industrialization drive, and will continue to provide strategic leadership and direction in this regard. “

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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