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TOR Idle After Breakdown
 
Posted on: 30-Aug-2012         Source: dailyguideghana.com
 
 
 
Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is reported to be idle following the breakdown of critical equipment, a source at the Ministry of Energy told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE.

The source stated that TOR has been “operationally idle” for more than a month.

“I won’t necessarily say TOR has been shut down, but it is operationally idle on the crude processing side of the business…it is more of a technicality,” the source revealed.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Ghana’s state-run Tema Oil Refinery had been shut down due to the breakdown of critical equipment.

According to the reputable news agency, both the main crude distillation unit and the residual fuel catalytic converter were shut down about a month ago.

“The changers (a component of the plant) were blocked and needed to be replaced but lack of funds has delayed the work,” one of the sources close to the 45,000 barrels-per-day plant told Reuters.

He said some boilers have worn-out, adding that work has been virtually completed to replace them.

The Tema Refinery has been hobbled by repeated shutdowns in the last four years, often due to shortage in available crude after its main lender Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) cut off support due to unpaid debts.

Ghana’s government repaid the debt to the bank early last year, but officials said the refinery still remained indebted to some bulk oil suppliers. Its most recent shutdown was on May 23, this year.

“We are still grappling with issues over crude availability, but for now that was not the key reason for the current shutdown,” the source added.

In May, TOR’s Managing Director Ato Ampiah announced that management had secured some $900 million in financing from banks, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered to help the plant settle its debt backlog and purchase crude supplies.

By William Yaw Owusu