Bright Adongo, chairman of the Senior Staff Union of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), has reiterated that leasing the refinery to Torentco Asset Management Group for $22 million for 6 years will get the refinery back on its feet.
Speaking in an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM in Accra on Wednesday, Adongo said that not leasing the refinery as planned could lead to the total collapse of the refinery.
“The benefit is enormous, security wise, economic wise and it makes sense that you are keeping jobs and all that. If you get a running refinery and there are wars somewhere and you cannot get the finished product, you can bring your crude oil from the fields, process and transform it to get the economy running,” he added.
The Union Chairman revealed that the refinery was seriously challenged as it was among others highly indebted to utilities, had only few product storages (20 out of 59) and had not increased salaries of workers for the past five years.
Responding to the query on what happens if the company ran down the refinery, Mr Adongo emphatically stated that he believed no private businessman would make an investment with the aim to see it go down.
“If they are to run the plant down definitely then the plant cannot deliver as it has to. If you are a private man, your intention is to fix those items that need to be fixed. So obviously I don’t see a private man who would want to take over a facility and make a significant investment, and he will want to break the plant down,” he added.
The Senior Staff Union of TOR has already backed the government’s decision to lease the refinery to Torentco Asset Management.
The union believes that leasing TOR would help revamp and reposition the company for sustainable operations.
The union also addressed concerns raised by analysts regarding the lease agreement, emphasizing the urgent need to restore TOR’s functionality. They cited years of political interference, mismanagement, and insufficient investment as contributing factors to its decline.
In its statement, the union stated, “It is on the basis of this, that we the Senior Staff Workers Union of TOR (PMSU of UNICOF) welcome the decision by the board and the government to engage a strategic partner to revamp the refinery and bring it back to operation to contribute to fuel security in the country and stabilisation of the Ghana Cedi.”
The lease of the TOR has attracted great national concern after some analysts raised issues concerning the terms of the agreement.
The refinery will be leased to Torentco Asset Management Group for $22 million for 6 years and is expected to refine up to 8 million barrels annually.
The group will pay $1 million as annual rent and an additional rent amount of $1.067 million per month.