Minority vows to resist moves to turn TOR into tank farm

The Minority in Parliament has vowed to resist attempts by government to convert the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) into a tank Farm.

A tank farm is a facility used mainly for the storage of liquid petrochemical products.

The Minority’s resolve comes in the wake of an announcement by the Energy Minister; Boakye Agyarko at a conference in the United States, that government intends to turn TOR into a tank farm, ahead of the construction of  a new refinery in the Western Region.

The Energy Minister disclosed that the government had prepared land in parts of the Western Region for investors interested in such venture to set up in a free zone enclave.

He explained that potential companies that would take advantage of this opportunity would enjoy enormous benefits, including tax breaks and would also be required to export their products.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TOR, Isaac Osei, is however on record to have opposed this move.

“I didn’t come to TOR to preside over its demise. I have not come here to run this company by scrapping it,” the TOR CEO reportedly said.

In an interview with Citi News Duke Mensah Opoku, the Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, Adam Mutawakilu , said there is no need to convert TOR into a tank farm when it still has the capacity and equipment to refine crude.

“TOR is a legacy asset and it is not that it is outdated and can no more function; it is about investment and management of the asset that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah left with us. So when somebody starts talking about turning it into a tank farm, I can foresee that they want to cannibalize most of the equipment that TOR has.”

He insisted that the Minority will do everything possible to resist such moves.

“Tank farms do not need processing equipment so what happens to what TOR has? We will not agree to that as Minority [in Parliament]. We would, as Minority, resist turning a legacy project that still has the capacity to process crude for this country into a tank farm.”

TOR debt recovery levy

Government instituted the TOR Debt Recovery Levy in a bid to clear the massive debt that hanged on TOR as a result of under-recoveries.

In 2015, TOR’s debt was estimated to be in excess of 1.9 billion.

The Debt Recovery Fund Levy Act 2003 (Act 642) was passed to help finance TOR’s accumulated debt and cater for the company’s under recovery.

Due to this, a debt recovery levy was subsequently imposed on some petroleum products.

TOR debt overpaid; stop levying Ghanaians – ACEP to gov’t

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) in 2016 charged government to stop taxing Ghanaians over the TOR Debt Recovery Levy since their investigations show that technically, the “debt has been cleared and even overpaid.”

ACEP said at the time the levy was instituted, the total debt stood at GHc450 million.

The centre argued that if for any reason the debt had not been cleared, then government is to blame for either mismanaging the levies or for non-compliance.

Source:Citinewsroom.com

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