The Minority in Parliament has vowed to resist moves by government to convert the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) into a tank farm.
The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko revealed this in January that government in partnership with the private sector will build a new oil refinery at the cost of $4billion in the Western Region, paving the way for the conversion of TOR to a tank farm.
This situation has created a frosty relationship between the CEO of TOR, Isaac Osei and the Energy Minister have been at each other’s throat since the announcement by the latter.
Mr. Osei and his Board Chairman, in a united voice, kicked against the decision, wondering why the refinery will be scrapped at a time when it has installed a catalytic cracker with the hope to commence full operations.
“I didn’t come to TOR to preside over its demise. I have not come here to run this company by scrapping it,” Mr. Osei said, adding: “I don’t think converting it into a tank farm is the way forward.”
Reacting to the CEO of TOR’s opposition to the ‘tank farm’ idea on the sidelines of the Licensing Bids Evaluation and Negotiation Committee, Agyarko said Mr. Osei has no locus to question the move.
He said: “If you are a minister, it’s beneath you to engage your subordinate on something both of you disagree on in public or on radio. And if you are under a minister and you disagree with his decision you don’t resort to the radio to vent your displeasure.
“So as a minister, I will not engage any of my subordinates over issues we disagree on radio. It’s beneath me. I’m not being boastful or arrogant. It’s just not right. The President will be in town tonight; I will engage him on the matter and move it on from there not my subordinate,” he added.
Speaking on Accra based StarrFM, Minority spokesperson on Energy, Adam Mutawakilu said they will fight any attempt to convert TOR into a tank farm.
“You can’t convert our strategic asset to a tank farm,” he stated.
“It is a strategic asset; [and] it is not that when proper investment is done it will not work,” he stressed noting that under the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration TOR made stupendous profits, refining Ghanaian oil.
“So I don’t see why under NPP TOR cannot work and cannot process Ghana’s oil and they need to sell. But the CEO has indicated that production will start soon. So, we don’t think that it is up to the stage to turn it (TOR) into a tank farm. No,” he barked.
Enraged by the government’s move, the Minority spokesperson on Energy said the Energy Minister will be summoned to the Parliament to expatiate on his announcement.