Suspension of TOR Partnership with TEPL: OSP probes corruption allegations

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Tema Oil Refinery (TOR)
Tema Oil Refinery (TOR)

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has instructed the management of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to halt its proposed partnership agreement with Tema Energy and Processing Limited (TEPL).

In a letter dated November 21, 2023, addressed to TOR’s Managing Director, Daniel Osei Appiah, the OSP stated that it has initiated an examination of potential corruption risks associated with the proposed partnership.

The directive mandates an immediate suspension of the proposed partnership agreement, ongoing negotiations, operations, and all related activities until further notice from the Special Prosecutor.

This directive from the Special Prosecutor comes in response to protests from TOR staff opposing the partnership with Torentco Asset Management Limited, now known as Tema Energy and Processing Limited.

On November 20, the General Transport, Petroleum, and Chemical Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana lodged a petition with the Special Prosecutor, urging an investigation into the lease agreement between TOR and Torentco Asset Management Limited.

In their petition, the Workers Union called for an inquiry into the ongoing lease arrangement, expressing concern that the individuals behind Tema Energy and Processing Limited were attempting to entice TOR workers with a misrepresented entity called “TOR Workers Charity Trust,” which they claimed never existed at TOR.

The Workers Union also raised apprehensions about potential compromise within the TOR Board of Directors (BoD) in the deal, suspecting that the country might be disadvantaged. Despite alternative proposals from entities like Falcon American Oil and Legacy Capital, the BoD and Management remained steadfast in leasing TOR to Torentco/TEPL for six (6) years, prompting concerns of impropriety.

The Workers Union, invoking the whistle-blowers’ Acts, officially petitioned the Special Prosecutor as a last resort after reaching out to various authorities, including the Ministry of Energy, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, SIGA, the Public Procurement Authority, the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General department, and the Ministry of Finance for intervention to prevent a potential scandal similar to the ECG/PDS case.

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