The main refining plants at the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) are expected to shut down due to lack of crude oil which serves as raw material for the refinery.
Highly placed sources at TOR told Class News on Wednesday 20 June 2018 that the situation is as a result of TOR’s inability to raise letters of credit to import crude oil for processing.
Class news checks have revealed the last time TOR managed to import crude was between December 2016 and January 2017. Further checks also revealed that TOR shutdown the Crude oil Distillation Unit (CDU) two weeks ago after it finished processing the remainder of some 2 million barrels of crude it had in stock.
Between that period, the Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracker (RFCC) has been processing atmospheric residue and that is expected to be completed Wednesday.
In effect both the RFCC and CDU will be out of operation until TOR is able to raise credit to import crude oil.
Chairman for the General Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union at the TOR, John Elton Botwey, says told Class FM’s Ibrahim Obeng-Mensah that it is a normal routine where the refinery is shut when there is no stock.
“It is not as if they are shutting the company down. What is happening is that when we are short of feed stock the plant has to come down, so that is just what we are doing,” he explained emphasizing that “the plant runs with the availability of crude so without crude we can’t put it on”.
He said management has made requests to authorities to procure crude but “we are not looking at crude that we will run for one week and stop. We are looking at the long term so they have put in request to even government to try and give us even some of the Ghana crude so that we can sustain operations”.
TOR will however continue with other minor operations and services until the availability of crude if the refinery is shut.
Contributing to the development on Class FM’s 505 news programme, Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Security (IES), Paa Kwasi Anamoah Sakyi, confirmed that they have also picked up signals that TOR will be shut in the coming days barring any intervention from government.