As Ghanaians look for some reprieve in the petroleum sector amid soaring prices, a Deputy Minister for Energy, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, has said the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) could be back online by the end of 2022.
In April, he said, the management of TOR sought approval from the Ministry of Energy to engage the private sector players “to commence the revamping of TOR, and that approval went on 2nd May.”
Mr. Mercer did not provide a detailed timeline for the endeavour.
“As it is, I do not expect it to go beyond the year’s end because there is some equipment they need to repair to enable them to get back quickly and start refining,” the Deputy Minister added on the Big Issue on Citi TV/FM.
TOR is saddled with debt, which reached GH¢400 million in the past.
It has also struggled to pay utility bills in the past.
Mr. Mercer noted that potential partners will help with the clearing of the refinery’s debts.
“Some refinancing has to be done, and some debt has to remain on the books of TOR, which means whoever is parenting TOR takes that obligation.”
The Deputy Minister, however, noted, that the refinery was not likely to affect the soaring fuel prices.
“If it was the case, then I don’t see why the US, UK and other countries across the world where they have functional refineries and multiple refineries are still facing petroleum price rises,” Mr. Mercer argued.
Globally, soaring fuel prices have been driven by the war in Ukraine.
Observers have said consumers can expect fuel prices at the pump to remain high into 2023 due to disruptions to Russian oil supplies and as refineries struggle to meet demand recovering from the pandemic.