The Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL) has petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to call to order Mr Boakye Agyarko, Minister of Energy, on the proposed conversion of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) into a tank farm.
Mr Agyarko is reported to have stated in Houston, Texas in the United States, during a meeting with potential investors at the Offshore Technology Conference, that there are plans to convert TOR into a tank farm.
The petition was signed by Mr Ebenezer Kodwo Taylor and Mr Emmanuel Addo-Kumi, TDCL Chairman and Secretary respectively, and copied to 14 stakeholders.
“Mr President, we are therefore calling on you to call the Energy Minister to order and order him to render an unqualified apology to Tema Oil Refinery and the Labour force of Ghana as a whole”, they stated.
They stressed that such utterances from the minister were unacceptable and must be condemned, adding that it was unacceptable for him to say TOR would be converted into a farm tank when he was yet to pay a working visit to the refinery since his appointment.
According to them, their monitoring indicated that Mr Agyarko seemed not to have any plans for the development of TOR.
The TDCL stated that “it therefore comes as a surprise to us to learn that a senior minister of state in your government has such intentions, when your government is working hard to reduce unemployment in the country and be self-sufficient in the production of petroleum products”.
They prayed that under President Akufo-Addo’s leadership, TOR would experience a new production plant with all the petrol-chemical plant attached to meet the ARA 2030 deadline of producing petroleum products of low sulfur content and also meet the market demand.
The refinery, they said, had gone through massive turnaround maintenance and was currently refining crude oil into petroleum products.
The TDCL reminded the President that his failure to support TOR would lead to a number of challenges including price hikes in petroleum products by the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
Other challenges that would arise, they stated, were the massive exportation of foreign currencies to import finished petroleum products, massive unemployment and threat to national threat.
They noted that TDCL had therefore resolved that TOR should be allowed to work without any external interference, and that government should explicitly declare its policy direction for the refinery to sustain the existing peaceful industrial atmosphere.
They further asked government to ensure that state owned companies in the downstream oil sector such as TOR, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) and Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL) work in unison to curtail price hikes of petroleum products.