“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.
“TOR is a legacy asset and it is not that it is outdated and can no more function; it is about investment and management of the asset that Dr.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.”
He adds, “after the audit then look for the financing from shareholder and financial institutions and if not, then from a strategic investor. But, the issue as I see it now is that all what the strategic investors want to do with TOR is turn it into a tank farm rather than investing US$300 million.”
The returns on TOR, if operating profitably (and without servicing the current debt) should be about 2-3% on every cargo (that is, about US$1.5-2 million a month); a trader who brings in an equivalent 3 cargoes a month (using the same LC lines as a 1m bbl crude import) makes almost the same.
With this, he asked, “So why should an investor invest an additional US$300 million when he can make the same amount or more with less hassle?”
He therefore suggests that, a competent board and management team are needed and trim down size of staffs and workers to make refinery efficient.
He further suggested that, the new Board and management must seek the pledge of government, the sole shareholder, that there will be no interference from the minister and any other government machinery.
A tank farm is a facility used mainly for the storage of liquid petrochemical products.
In 2010, TOR requested for US$67.7 million for plant stabilisation and enhancement projects.
In response, the government in 2012 released $30 million, which was used to complete the first phase of plant stabilisation and enhancement projects on the crude distillation and residual fluid catalytic cracking units.
TOR has completed the first phase of plant stabilisation and enhancement projects on the crude distillation and residual fluid catalytic cracking units at a cost of $30 million.
A second phase of stabilisation and enhancement projects designed to ensure the reliability of operations at the refinery has been delayed.