State-owned Tema Oil Refinery Co. Ltd. (TOR) has resumed crude oil processing at its 45,000-b/d refinery in Tema, Ghana, after a nearly 4-month operational shutdown, according to Ghana’s Ministry of Energy & Petroleum (MEP).

Crude processing restarted on Dec. 29, 2014, after Nigeria’s Access Bank PLC provided TOR financial support to secure about 800,000 bbl of crude oil feedstock from a subsidiary of Nigeria-based Sahara Group, MEP said.

The newly delivered crude supplies will take about a month to refine, during which time the refinery will be producing at about 50% of its nameplate capacity as the plant gradually ramps up to normal production levels, MEP said.

TOR’s refining operations have been inconsistent amid frequent shutdowns of processing units since 2009 mainly due to a lack of capital to procure crude oil on a continuous basis, which has impacted petroleum product supplies to the Ghanaian market, the company said in a March 2014 release.

In the same month, Alphonse Dorcoo, TOR’s managing director, confirmed the refinery had completed the first $30-million phase of plant stabilization and enhancement projects on the crude distillation and residual fluid catalytic cracking units, according to separate statements from TOR and MEP.

At the time, TOR still was awaiting about $37.7 million in government funding before it could begin a second phase of stabilization and enhancement projects designed to ensure the reliability of operations at the refinery.

In this regard, Ghana’s government in 2013 set up a two-tier structure to institute a public-private partnership approach for the restructuring and revitalization of TOR’s business through a joint venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd., Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Ghana’s energy minister, said in September 2013.
The joint venture company, TOR-PS, was incorporated that same month, Buah said.

According to local media reports, PetroSaudi also has provided the funding for and will oversee the second-phase revitalization project at the TOR refinery.

In a Jan. 8 internet radio broadcast, a spokesman for MEP said Ghana’s government and TOR are discussing options to guarantee the refinery continues to receive a steady crude supply in order to maintain ongoing operations.

 

Source: Oil & Gas Journal