TOR Is Not For Sale – Energy Minister

26

Mar 2015

Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has denounced that   the Joint Venture Agreement between TOR and Petro Saudi was not a move to sell off the refinery to the Arabian oil company.

According to him,  TOR did not have the required working capital to import crude oil to refine hence the idea behind the arrangement with the Arabian company  to assist the refinery to import crude oil.

“The partnership is not to diverse any asset of TOR. TOR is not for sale. The arrangement is on the marketing arm of the refinery,” he said.

Mr Buah made this known in Parliament yesterday in a response to a question posed the Member of Parliament for Manhyia South, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh on the details of the joint venture arrangement between Petro Saudi and TOR.

He explained that   talks with Petro Saudi was aimed at overhauling the marketing component of the refinery and boost its working capital and not  to diversify it.

He said under the agreement, Petro Saudi would provide working capital to enable TOR operate to its full capacity and expressed the government’s commitment to resource TOR to make the company efficient.

“The various documents for the transaction including Project Agreements, Comprehensive Business Plan, Government Consent and Support Agreement (GCSA), shareholder agreement and off-taker agreements among others are being reviewed and negotiated by the Attorney General’s Department, Ministry of Petroleum, TOR, Ministry of Finance and Petro Saudi,” he said.

Mr Buah pointed out that TOR had submitted the reviewed document to Petro Saudi for their consideration and gave the assurance that the negotiated GCSA and other related agreements and documents would, as required by law and practice, be submitted to Cabinet for approval and thereafter, submitted to Parliament for ratification.

He said the government and the team from TOR would submit the agreements to Parliament by the second quarter of this year adding that TOR would soon be refining crude oil at optimal level.

Mr Buah also observed that the Ministry of Finance would soon release an amount of US$37.7 million to support the second phase of the rehabilitation of TOR as part of efforts   to strengthen the refinery and enable it procure crude oil and refine.

He disclosed that  the  Ministry had facilitated for the release of an amount of US$30 million from the Finance Ministry to TOR enable it   work on the first phase of the rehabilitation.

“Since the first phase of the rehabilitation was completed, a number of companies have expressed interests in the supply of crude to TOR. The ministry (petroleum ministry) will continue to work with TOR to ensure the full completion of the rehabilitation project. This is the surest way of ensuring that TOR runs at optimal level to enable it secure consistent supply of crude oil,” he said.

Source:ISD (Gilbert Ankrah & Raymond Kwofie)