TOR Workers Back Govt Over New Investors


The Senior Staff Workers Union of TOR (PMSU of UNICOF) is urging the public to disregard recent misinformation making rounds on social and mainstream media about ongoing efforts by the board and government to revamp and reposition the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to effectively deliver on its core and related business sustainably.

According to the Union, “We consider the architects of the ongoing propaganda as either being ignorant about the real facts or being sponsored by adversaries of the refinery to keep the refinery in its current near-helpless state for their wicked and selfish interest.”

In a statement issued and signed by Chairman of the Senior Staff Workers Union of TOR, Bright Adongo, on behalf of the Union, he lamented that “It is important to draw the attention of the public and well-meaning Ghanaians to the fact that for over a decade, TOR has not fully operated sustainably due to political interference, mismanagement and lack of the requisite investment in the company by successive governments.”
The Union claimed the notable current challenges of the company include: failure to fund the purchase of crude oil for processing, debt overhang of over $500 million, and product accounting challenges, adding that many critical pieces of equipment were being left to rot due to prolonged periods of inactivity and lack of funds to maintain them.

He stated that, “Many products storage tanks are out of service due to lack of maintenance as 20 out of a total of 59 tanks are out of service, also lack of salary increment for staff for over five (5) years, company’s failure to settle arrears of workers provident fund (PF) which is in the region of GH¢40 million, mass exodus of skilled staff to other refineries in the Middle East, and huge indebtedness to utility providers such as Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Ghana Water Company leading to frequent cuts, as well as indebtedness to Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and other statutory organisations.

“It is our considered view that the right investment has to be made now, other than that we risk losing our only refinery which is fast deteriorating.  Quite obviously, we think the only way out now is to consider private participation in the running of the Refinery,” the statement noted.
He pointed out that, “It is based on this, that we the Senior Staff Workers Union of TOR (PMSU of UNICOF) welcomes the decision by the Board and 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.

“We are confident that this initiative would also guarantee job security and improved conditions of service and bring hope at last to the suffering workers, many of whom are lacing their boots to join the exodus.”

He added that, “We consider the yet-to-be-finalised arrangements with the selected partner, TORENTCO as the only viable option available to bring back the refinery into operation since successive governments are hesitant to inject capital into the operations of the refinery.”

“In particular, we consider as refreshing that apart from the annual and monthly rent that the partner will be paying to TOR, they will also be making a capex investment of $22million on the plants and other associated facilities,” he disclosed.

According to Mr. Adongo, the investment is aimed at maintaining and ensuring plant reliability and efficiency, maintaining and restoring the company’s storage capacity, and installing equipment to ensure efficient product accountability.

“It is also important to clarify that per the terms of the arrangements, TOR is allowed to terminate the deal at any time and refund the cost of investment to TORENTCO, if it finds a better alternative during the tenure of the agreement.

“As far as we are concerned, there is currently no other concrete alternative better than what is being considered now. We, therefore, pledge our support to the Board, Management, and the Government as it works to conclude this agreement,” the statement added.


BY Daniel Bampoe