Hon.Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Energy Minister
A pressure group calling itself the Truth and Accountability Forum (TAF) has raised red flags over President Mahama?s statement in the State of the Nation Address that the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) will sign a Joint Venture agreement with Petro Saudi to revive the ailing national refinery.
According to TAF, it is a clandestine way by the President to give TOR away to the Arab company, which it claims, does not have a good track-record.
?TAF demands immediate suspension of the JV agreement with Petro Saudi. To all intends and purposes, Petro Saudi is not credible and is not one of the major players in the oil refinery industry,? a statement released by TAF on Wednesday and signed by Collins Amoah and Saaka Salia, the Executive Director and Spokesperson of the group, stated.
?This is a company that has a track-record of preying on the vulnerability of its partners for juicy contracts and turn round to shortchange them with impunity.
Petro Saudi is said to be making a second foray into Ghana after a botched attempt in 2011.
??15th of August, 2011 this company succeeded in connivance with Vice President Mahama in signing an MOU with the GNPC ostensibly to take over TOR signed by Terek Essam Ahmed Obaid for Petro Saudi and Asafo Ajie for GNPC. This was resisted by civil society leading to the suspension of the MOU, which is now being revived,? TAF disclosed.
It said Petro Saudi does not have the ?financial wherewithal? to turn around TOR and may just treat Ghana like it did to Malaysia recently.
During the crisis in Egypt, Petro Saudi was said to have leased two 747 Boeing to bring Malaysians back home from Egypt leading to the JV agreement with Malaysian Development Behhard (IMDB). The joint venture was supposed to invest in renewable energy sector.
IMDB invested 1 billion dollars for 40% equity while Petro Saudi 60% equity in the said JV.
Petro Saudi, instead of liquid cash, decided to inject an asset worth 1.5 billion dollars in the form of oil reserve in the Caspian Sea.
?That was not renewable energy and that did not mean investment in Malaysia in the word of the Malaysian parliamentarians,? TAF noted.
?IMDB sold their equity for 1.2 billion back to Petro Saudi and could not even get the money until after 11 years. Petro Saudi is part of a scheme to suck Malaysia and leave it high and dry. These are the so-called redeemers we are welcoming into Ghana.
?It is so clear Petro Saudi does not have the financial wherewithal to turn TOR around, they are here to make quick money to service their ever growing indebtedness to the Malaysians.
?It is a fact that Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is virtually in comatose under the Mahama administration. In fact, it was a systematic, calculated tactic employed by the Mahama administration to collapse TOR so that they could have enough grounds to hand it over to their friends, Petro Saudi on a silver platter.?
By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran