The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) National Taskforce has once again disconnected the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) from the national power grid for failure to settle its debt.
The disconnection took place on Tuesday, July 13, 2023, when the power supply company embarked on phase two of its revenue mobilisation exercise.
The shutdown as of Thursday had entered day two, rendering workers hopeless as they couldn’t execute their job for the day.
Reacting to the development on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, described the situation as worrying.
“TOR is struggling. They can’t even pay light bills and at the moment, there is no light for the staff to work. The company is in dire strain,” he lamented.
An ECG national taskforce in March 2023 disconnected the state refinery over its inability to settle over GH¢26 million debt.
The amount was a summation of bills unpaid over several months.
TOR managed to pay about GH¢5 million but failed to settle the balance as scheduled, resulting in its second shutdown.
The taskforce took the entire facility off the national grid with notice to return when the oil refinery pays.
The latest development comes in the wake of negotiations to hand over TOR to Torentco Asset Management, a move which has garnered mixed reactions about the capacity and expertise of the strategic partner.
TOR has been considered to be leased to Torentco Asset Management Group for $22 million for six years and is expected to refine up to 8 million barrels annually.
The Minority in Parliament has, however, called on the government to suspend the deal and reopen the procurement process for a new partner to be selected.
But the board and management of TOR have defended the contract with Torentco, explaining that although they had wished to deal directly with a major multinational company, TOR’s accrued debts made the refinery unattractive to many, hence the decision to settle on Torentco.
Management has said that the partnership will allow TOR to move from being an annual loss-making entity to having a sustained positive net cash flow during the lease.
It will also demonstrate that crude oil can be processed at the refinery and help TOR to achieve industry-accepted yields if managed efficiently.
Source : adomonline