The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is in talks with Torentco, a local Ghanaian company established in January 2023, to lease its assets for six years. However, this deal has been met with skepticism by the Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), which doubts Torentco’s ability and experience in the oil sector.
ACEP’s Executive Director, Mr. Boakye, told Citi Eyewitness News that Torentco has no track record in the petroleum business and may not be able to deliver on its promises. He said that if Torentco fails, it would be difficult to hold them accountable since they are a new company with no reputation.
Mr. Boakye also called for a transparent and competitive bidding process to select the best partner for TOR, rather than settling for Torentco based on the assumption that TOR is not profitable. He said that he has seen many companies interested in taking over TOR in the past year, and that the public deserves to know how the deal was reached and whether it is beneficial for the country.
“You just select someone because you think TOR is not profitable and just give the company out in a manner that they are doing, I think raises a lot of red flags and even raises concerns about whether the barest minimum being promised can be delivered. We don’t trace them to any serious company that we can be comfortable with and say we know this reputable company is behind it and for anything at all you can call or shame them,” he said.
On the other hand, the Senior Staff Union of TOR defended the deal with Torentco, saying that it is the only viable option to revive the refinery, which has been neglected by successive governments. They said that Torentco will pay $22 million to lease TOR and refine up to 8 million barrels per year.
The Union Chairman, Bright Adongo, said that leasing TOR to Torentco will ensure fuel security and economic stability for Ghana, as well as preserve jobs and assets. He also dismissed the concerns about Torentco’s lack of track record, saying that no private investor would want to ruin their investment by running down the refinery.