Build refineries; add value to oil – Energy expert to govt

Government has been urged to consider revamping the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) this year, to enable the conversion of crude oil into finished products.

According to the Senior Technical Consultant to the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), Dr. Suleman Yusif, until Ghana is able to add value to the crude oil it produces, the nation will continue to lose greatly in oil receipts.

There have been calls on the government to refurbish the operations of TOR, if it intends to boost investor confidence for its strategic petroleum hub.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Class Business’ Pious Kojo Backah on the prospects of Ghana’s oil and gas sector in the new year, Dr Yusif said: “We‘ve decided to leave our refinery to idle when in fact this is the time we should be thinking of building more refineries because the consumption of our finished products is so aggressive, so robust, so strong and that is enough to support our local economy.

“Look at the quantum of money we take to import finished products, if we are to send these monies back to our local players who will be in charge of the finished products market sector, all these monies are going to stay in the country and the economy is going to develop.”

He continued that: “No economy has developed without developing its manufacturing sector or adding value to its core raw material base. And so, until we move away from typically exporting our raw materials instead of adding value to them, it will be difficult to see how we are going to benefit going into the new year.”

“If we leave the status quo like this, we are repeating the same thing that we went through in 2020 unless we do things differently, and how can we do things differently, let’s add value to the raw materials, let’s get the refineries into business and that will help us as a nation. It will strengthen our local currency and create lots of employment and put monies directly into people’s pockets,” Dr Yusif added.

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