A former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr. Alex Mould, has indicated that about $300 million is needed to upgrade the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to global standards.
He said TOR needed to match up to international standards to ensure the country receives the utmost profit from the refinery whose production has been seriously short.
Thus, he advised the government to take immediate steps to subject it to a thorough audit, realize the extent of its debts and expedite actions to address them.
GNPC’s former boss, speaking at the second Ghana International Petroleum Conference in Accra, said the government currently has available two options, to sell off the entire facility to the private sector or open it up to an investor.
The option of financing TOR if the government chose, he said, would be capital intensive and would drain the budget for other sectors. Moreover, he warned that due to the current debt stock of the country, borrowing to fund the entity was not advisable.
Mr. Charles Adu Boahen, a deputy Minister of Finance speaking at the same forum, however, noted that taking into account the present condition of the facility, a buyer for TOR would be hard to come by even if it is listed on the stock exchange, due to its unprofitable state.
He said as part of the petroleum hub initiative, the government will woo investors to invest in the facility to help develop it to meet global set standards and increase the country’s benefit.
Meanwhile, speakers at the conference expressed that since the government’s inability to manage the facility has been quite glaring, it should make way for the private sector to take over the task.
The private sector, it was indicated, is better placed to raise the needed capital to manage TOR than what is currently being seen.