An Economist has called for the Repositioning and expansion of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to improve its infrastructure and ensure the reliability of petroleum products on the Ghanaian market and to export to the ECOWAS Sub-region.
“Global challenges especially in the oil sector must change our perception about TOR and stop the consistent political interference, Reverend Dr. Samuel Worlanyo Mensah, an Economist has stated.
“Let us as a nation revamp TOR to become the first choice for Bulk Distribution Companies (BDC) for finished petroleum products, and also explore the petrochemical area of the petroleum business,”
Rev. Dr. Mensah who is also the Executive Director of Centre Impact Africa (CGIA) was speaking at a forum organized by the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office focusing on the global economic trend and the impact of the oil industry on developing countries.
Speaking on the topic: “Global economy, the IMF, Russia-Ukraine war and COVID-19: Prospects and Challenges for Ghana,” Rev. Dr. Mensah urged the government to revamp and expand the capacity TOR.
He suggested that the government should engage non-political actors with a sound understanding of the oil refinery industry to support the large workforce at TOR who are eager to support initiatives to revamp the refinery.
He said TOR has experts with the capacity to reduce the importation of petroleum products and ensure self-sufficiency in the petrochemical sector in Ghana.
“All that is needed is to create the enabling environment, eliminate political control and ensure that it provides quality energy products and services to power Ghana’s economic growth in an environmentally sustainable manner,” the Economist stated.
Rev. Dr. Mensah added that investing in local refineries would also promote the industrialization of local content and quality products needed to enlarge production to increase revenue.
He stressed that TOR must be revamped to fully refine the country’s oil product, stressing that the current system where TOR was under-utilized but the nation export the product to other jurisdiction at a huge cost to refine and transported back into the country is unacceptable.
He said the economic dynamics of such an arrangement are wrong, “at the end of the day we incur the unnecessary cost, the money used in such an unprofitable venture could have been pumped to revamp TOR and save the country millions of dollars.”
He explained that considering the global economic crisis because of the ongoing war, Ghana must consider this time as an opportunity to explore the petrochemical industry to produce more petrochemical products for both local consumption and exportation.
He added that the war between Russia and Ukraine was a double-edged sword for the country’s economy as Ghana’s exportation of crude to the international market was yielding huge returns, other sectors are also being affected negatively therefore the urgent need for prudent management and balancing of the economic fundamentals to reduce the impact on citizens.
“That is going to expand the economy, create more jobs, bring in revenue and once we get revenue, we’ll be able to solve our infrastructural deficit as a country,” he added.