The Chief Executive Officer of the Tema Oil Refinery, Kwame Awuah Darko has disclosed to Citi Business News it will cost Ghana about 120 million dollars to re-configure the country’s refinery mechanism to meet the 10 parts per million (ppm) sulphur content levels for diesel.
The figure however runs contrary to the earlier statement by the CEO of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Moses Asaga that it will cost the country about 300 million dollars for the reconfiguration.
“Irrespective of the kind of crude we process down to the 10 ppm standard, we are looking at an investment between a 100 and 120 million dollars. It is very important that this has come at a time that government has done a strategic repositioning of TOR in the downstream petroleum deregulated petroleum sector,” he stated.
Moses Asaga’s figures came during his initial reaction to a report released by ACEP and its partners, Public Eye that Ghana, together with other seven African countries import ‘dirty diesel’ as they contained diesel with sulphur contents almost 300 times compared to those sold in Europe.
The development, the report further warns puts the lives of thousands of individuals at risk due to the inhalation of fumes from vehicles that use those diesel samples.
Even though many have raised doubts over TOR’s ability to undertake such refineries due to the huge financial challenges confronting it as a result of accumulated debts, its CEO, Mr. Awuah Darko maintains the restructuring undertaken by government puts the company in a position to contain any significant costs that the process will require.
“The strategic repositioning is going to enable TOR independently raise close to 110 and 115 million dollars via the offshore mooring facilities that have been granted to the refinery. Based on government’s policy decision and action, we are very well positioned and very well positioned for the challenges in providing Ghanaians with quality fuels,” Mr. Awuah Darko further stressed.
Meanwhile the NPA has justified its decision to review downwards the national sulphur specification for diesel from the maximum 3000 parts per million to 500 parts per million, effective January 2017.
The Authority will however allow suppliers to import diesel at 10 ppm or lower. According to the CEO, Moses Asaga, the decision was to avert a shutdown of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).
“TOR’s 500 ppm can then be blended to come to the required standard because if we close the refinery, it means there will be loss of jobs and chaos, he stated.