Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) projects to refine 16 to 18 million barrels of crude oil in 2017, following the inauguration of its new 45,000 capacity furnace (crude oil heater) at the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU).
The refinery successfully processed seven million barrels of crude oil in the 2016 fiscal year, thereby reducing the import margin of finished petroleum products, a feat its management attributed to policy reforms and the commitment of the workers.
According to TOR officials, the inauguration of the expanded heater (furnace) capacity had made it possible to revert the CDU’s processing unit to 45,000 daily production capacity from the present 28,000 barrels per stream a day (bpd).
The Managing Director of TOR, Mr Kwame Awuah Darko, said the expansion project which took place from 2015 to 2016 and saw the old furnace being replaced with a new one at the cost of five million euros, ought to translate into an increased processing capacity, while a $40 million agreement signed recently between TOR, Osun Engineering of Korea and Intertek Ghana, would ensure the attainment of the 60,000 production capacity in the next three to five years.
Prior to the replacement of the furnace, TOR was producing 28,000 barrels per day of crude oil, following a breakdown of one of the furnaces at the CDU about four years ago, which reduced the production capacity from 45,000.
Mr Darko was speaking at an end-of-year durbar and thanksgiving ceremony for staff and management of TOR in Tema last Friday.
He indicated that the company was inching closer to the planned turn-around maintenance scheduled for February 2017, for which reason it was important that TOR stocked adequate fuel to safeguard fuel security during the period of the shutdown.
“The successful test run on the one million barrels which we took delivery from the Tweneboa, Enyera, Ntomme (TEN) fields in the Western Region, would make it possible for us to have adequate stocks of finished products ahead of the shutdown for the turn-around maintenance”, he said.
Mr Darko commended the workers for their commitment and hard work which he said had facilitated the laying of a successful foundation which had also revived the company’s operations.
He pointed out that more work needed to be done, and encouraged the workers not to allow the successes they had chalked up to whittle away, as it would be much more difficult to rebuild.
“I want to thank all of you for having allowed me to serve as your Managing Director. If I recount my life, serving you is the most single honoured privilege that I have had as a citizen of this country”, Mr Darko said.
He added that with the first series of debt restructured into a 10-year bond, TOR was in a better position to use its internally generated funds (IGF) to sufficiently finance its operations and could also borrow on its own without recourse to the government.