TOR Faces Imminent Shut Down!

Information available to indicates that the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) will soon be shut down due to its over-indebtedness to some utility providers.

Our findings established the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) last week cut water supply to the TOR.

That, our findings established, was because TOR was heavily owing the state water company to the tune of about four (4) million Ghana cedis in water bills as at March 2021.

The development, the paper gathered, forced the company to depend on its 11,200 cubic metre water reservoir which is projected to run out in the next 72 hours after which TOR would not even have water for its toilets and urinary facilities.

Multiple sources told DAILY Analyst that the water cut to TOR puts the state refinery at a high risk due to the highly flammable nature of the plant and also the fact that water is an essential need for the refinery since it is used to generate steam for the refinery and also for emergency fire-fighting purposes.

Checks conducted by this paper revealed that the refinery as at March this year was also the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) an amount of about GH¢23 million.

Also, TOR is in workers Provident fund arrears to the tune of about GH¢34 million, our sources further revealed.

This, according to the sources, puts TOR workers’ investment at risk.
More so, Workers who were due to access their funds were unable to do so due to TOR’s heavy indebtedness.

Again, the paper found out that TOR was also in arrears of about 21 million Ghana Cedis in payment of workers SSNIT tier one and two as at April 2021, and owed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to the tune of about 85 million Ghana Cedis in taxes as at April, this year.

Some of the workers who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity indicated that the plant could collapse anytime soon if nothing was done to reposition the refinery as early as practicable.

According to the workers, the current Managing Director (MD) was failing to see reason and make the plant viable as all suggestions made to him to get the refinery back on track have proved futile.

They said they have tried to make the new MD understand the current state of the plant and found reason in turning it around to make it viable but he seems not to understand the business of the refinery.

They said currently the refinery was struggling to pay salaries of workers and pensioners due for pension were equally unable to access their end-of-year benefits due to the lack of funds in the company’s accounts.

Furthermore, the DAILY Analyst discovered that this year alone, the bank account of the company has been ganache on two occasions by the Ghana Revenue Authority.
The workers indicated that in the face of all the numerous financial challenges the plant was faced with, the MD continued to make political employments.

“We are struggling to pay workers salaries, we are unable to pay our bills, and we do not know the future of this refinery, yet our MD continues to do political employment,” one of the workers alleged.

Meanwhile, the grade six worker being the lowest paid worker at the TOR receives a take home pay Ghc 2,879 plus a mid-month salary allowance of GH¢700 and a fuel coupon of GH¢900 per month.

This year alone, 15 new category six workers have been employed on political grounds despite the numerous debts and financial challenges confronting the refinery.

In a notice to its staff members in October last year, the human resource and administrative manager announced the appointment of one Mr Charles Anafi, a former Principal Engineer of the refinery as the refinery’s Optimisation Manager, a newly created position.

The function of the newly created Optimisation Department, according to the HR and Administration General Manager, Jane Ohenewaa Gyekye, in the notice to the staff members “is to commercially optimise the overall Refinery operations, study market trends and recommend useful technology/process to improve the Refinery’s viability and commercial position to achieve the company’s revenue target.”

Similarly, a new appointment was again made on March 12, 2021, where one Frank Kwaku Duah was appointed as the acting Inspection Manager of the plant.

However, the workers believe these appointments were needless, especially when the Refinery was financially bankrupt.

According to the workers, the appointments formed part of the many wastages the current MD was seen to be making instead of helping revive the plant.

The workers believe the current state of the refinery hinged on many things including the incompetent stewardship of the Managing Director, Francis Adu Tutu Boateng.

Currently the refinery had ceased refining as a tolling contract signed with Woodfields Energy Resources Limited has been terminated with the MD unable to tell what was next for the refinery in terms of where to get the next crude for refining.

Early this year, the Divisional Workers Union within the refinery petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to remove its MD and dissolve the current board on grounds of incompetence as they were unable to point to any future prospects, opportunities, initiatives, negotiated agreement that could assure workers of a better future.

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