Ghana’s only oil refinery, Tema Oil Refinery, secures deal to refine 11m barrels of crude

The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has reached a deal with a local oil trading company and its international partner to refine crude oil for the firm.

Managing Director of TOR, Isaac Osei,

This is coming after years of stop-start activities at the refinery.

The contract which is referred to as the tolling crude oil processing agreement is between TOR and the wholly-owned indigenous oil trader, Woodfields Energy Resources Limited, and its international partner, Vitol, the world's largest integrated energy firm.

Per the contract, TOR is expected to process 11 million barrels of crude oil for the company.

The Managing Director of TOR, Isaac Osei, told the Daily Graphic that the transaction was a major milestone in the life of the refinery.

He was confident that this would boost the confidence of stakeholders in TOR’s operations since the refinery is back to the consistent refining of crude oil.

Since August 2019, the TOR has refined about four million barrels of crude oil for Woodfields Energy under the special arrangement that ensures TOR is paid for the work done.

Mr Osei said the deal shows the confidence oil trading industry has in TOR to deliver value-for-money services to third parties.

"Similar arrangements are also being finalised with other international oil traders," he said in the interview that discussed the fortunes of TOR and its journey to sustainability. Generally, confidence in TOR is picking up and more firms are willing to do business with us," he said.

TOR's recovery

The fortunes of TOR suffered significantly in the early 2000s fortunes suffered and continued to suffer for over a decade.

TOR went through this suffering due to heavy debts, poor maintenance, mass exodus of staff and other external challenges.

Since 2017, the government made a conscious effort to make TOR return to its good days or even do better. This involves routine maintenance, refurbishment, and replacement of obsolete equipment, adoption of best practices and staff capacity building.

The refinery has an installment capacity of 45,000 barrels per stream day but currently refines 25,000 barrels per day due to an explosion in one of the furnaces in 2017.

The MD said plans were afoot to replace the furnace next year to return TOR to full capacity for it to handle the volume of work associated with the renewed confidence.

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