President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has inaugurated Ghana’s first private oil refinery with a firm assurance to revamp the state-owned Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and bring it back on track.
Constructed by Sentuo Group, Ghana, a Chinese conglomerate, at the Tema Industrial Area, the first phase of the new refinery is expected to process an initial stage 40,000 barrels per day and then scale-up to 100,000 barrels per day by the end of the year.
The second phase of the facility is expected to be completed this year and would increase its capacity to five million barrels per year.
Inaugurating the new facility at a very colourful ceremony in Tema last Friday, President Akufo-Addo said his government was committed to revamping the Tema Oil Refinery and would stop at nothing to ensure that such important state asset was operational.
“The challenges of another domestic oil refinery, the Tema Oil Refinery, are well documented. Nonetheless, I want to assure the Ghanaian people that the Government remains committed to the full operationalisation of TOR, and we will stop at nothing to bring it back on stream so that together with Sentuo, more and more of our oil will be refined right here in Ghana,” he emphasised.
President Akufo-Addo said the establishment of the new refinery was a significant milestone towards the country’s energy independence, industrialisation and economic prosperity.
“This project represents not just the brick and mortar, but also a symbol of our determination to shape our destiny, strengthen our economy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and inspire investment in our economy.”
He said he was optimistic that Ghana would soon wean itself off the reliance on foreign fuel for energy needs, and the operation of the refinery would serve as the pivotal step towards securing the country’s energy future.
“No longer will we be relying on external sources for fuel, instead, we will harvest our natural resources to fuel our progress.”
President Akufo-Addo said the refinery would not only provide the country with petroleum products, but also create jobs and empower local communities, drive investment in related industries and contribute to the overall realisation of Ghana’s broader industrialisation agenda.
“By processing our crude oil domestically, we are creating opportunities to add value, transform raw material into finished products and increase the competitiveness of our manufacturing sector,” he said.
He said the refinery stood as a good example of “our Ghana made initiative, where we prioritise local production for the benefit of Ghanaians”.
It was also an indication of the good cooperation between the public and private sectors in the country, and investing in the sector would pave the way for a robust industrial revolution that will support various sectors, including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and construction, he noted.
President Akufo-Addo was not happy that 95 per cent of Ghana’s current consumption of petroleum products was imported, resulting in heavy reliance on external sources.
“This over-reliance did not only pose challenges such as high costs, and the constant drain on our foreign currency reserve, but also limit our ability to control prices and ensure stable supply.
The establishment of this refinery signifies our commitment to reducing this dependence, achieving self-sufficiency, and driving the growth of our domestic petroleum industry. “
The Executive Chairman of the Sentuo Group, Xu Ning Quan, on his part, said the development reflected the long-standing ties between China and Ghana, and underscored what nations could achieve when the private sector was supported.
He expressed his gratitude to the government of Ghana for creating the conducive and enabling atmosphere for the private sector to thrive, saying the project would complement Ghana’s quest for energy sustainability and efficiency.
The Sentuo Group, which has been present in Ghana since 2008, currently comprises six business sections, including Sentuo Steel Limited, Fujian Sentuo Ceramic Tile Company Limited, Habilass Resources Company Limited, Sentuo Resources Recycling Limited, Sentuo Oil Refinery Limited and Sentuo Building Materials Complex, and now hires more than 4,500 local employees.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL
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