June 14, 2024
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TOR-Torentco deal: We want a partner that will make TOR better ~ Alexander Mould

A former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Alexander Kofi Mensah Mould, has expressed concerns about the government’s partnership deal with some groups with the purpose of leasing the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

Mr Mould has stressed that should the state-owned oil refinery enter a partnership deal, it should be one in which the partner in question helps to revive it.

According to him, the partner should be able to facilitate the continuous functioning of the refinery, explaining that it will incur huge losses if it does not work continuously.

“We want a partner that is going to make Tema Oil Refinery better, that is going to make our refinery be able to work continuously. Refineries work continuously for 18 months before they shut down. Yes, there’ll be some hiccups here and there, but if a refinery doesn’t work continuously, it’s going to make losses,” he said on Newsfile on Saturday.

Mr Mould also believes that there will be participation from various private institutions in the quest to revive the state-owned company. According to him, he cannot see how the government can get the huge monies needed to revamp the refinery.

He also explained that no financial institution would want to finance the operations of the company should the government itself not show some capabilities. He, however, indicated that the financial institution can finance the working capital of the company.

The former GNPC CEO added that monies needed to revamp TOR would have to come from “equity holders.”

“The money that is going to be used to revamp Tema Oil Refinery has to come from equity holders. The reason why it hasn’t happened is that the government hasn’t been able to raise $300 million or $500 million to inject into TOR,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy says Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and its prospective partners, Torentco, have not signed any contract yet.

The Ministry says nothing has been resolved despite the fact that talks between the state agency and Torentco are still ongoing.

In a press release on Sunday, June 25, the ministry’s spokesperson, Kofi Abrefa Afena, urged those who were critical of the sector minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, to confirm their claims before making them public.

“Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh as Energy Minister has demonstrated without a shred of doubt, his total commitment to getting TOR back to work in line with the vision of His Excellency the President.”

“Indeed, the board, management and staff of the company are on record to have touted the numerous positive interventions of the Minister in this regard several times.”

“Government’s quest to find a credible partner towards revamping the company involves key state actors such as the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) and the Attorney General’s Department,” the statement said.

A key player in Ghana’s energy sector, TOR, has for years encountered many difficulties, including operational inefficiencies and budgetary limitations.

The management of TOR revealed in a statement that it has started a thorough review of alternative remedies after realising the necessity of dealing with these concerns.

The management team has determined that the Torentco deal presents the most promising course of action after giving the matter great thought and thorough investigation, according to the management.

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