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Raising the Dead BOST, TOR merger may be a viable move- ACEP

Government has reached final stages of merging the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited with the task of propelling the collapsed Oil Refinery back to productivity.

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Director of Operation at the Africa Center for Energy Policy, Benjamin Boakye has expressed cautious optimism about the planned merger between the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company and the Tema Oil Refinery

Government has reached final stages of merging the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited with the task of propelling the collapsed Oil Refinery back to productivity.

Speaking to Pulse Business  Ben Boakye said " ACEP's  position has always been that the two entities have not been strategic enough. We all know the story of TOR and how unproductive it has been.  It will, of course be necessary for us to do all we can to  revamp it."

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Pulse Business: So is the merger with the BOST the silver bullet TOR needs

" We cannot say that for sure. Looking at how  unstrategic the Bulk Oil Storage Transport Company itself has been so far. They are  supposed to storing the country's fuel stock as their core mandate. But they have been reduce to just storing fuel from the private Bulk Oil Distributors.

We will always have the benefit of hindsight to see how it works out. But for now, the two companies project two companies who need a lot of work. We will see how the merger helps their forturnes.", Mr. Boakye concluded.

Plans of the merger were captured in the 2015 budget together with a few other arrangements to revamp the Tema Oil refinery.

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Meanwhile, Critics have wondered why Kwame Awuah Darko has been asked to double as MD of both entities, but he explained to the B&FT that aside from reviving TOR he was also tasked to look at the possibility of merging the two companies and make recommendations accordingly.

He indicated, however, that: “We haven’t got to that stage yet. At this point in time we are bringing TOR out of coma to bring it into full commercial operations, and the commitment we made is six months; we are two and a half months into the process. We have three and a half months left to go, and it is hard work."

Related: > Risk Ghana to lose downstream oil related investments - Former MCE

But I am so encouraged by the support we have got from the workers of TOR As part of their commitment to bring about a turn around, TOR workers, he said, have agreed to allow their November 2015 salaries – a total 3.8 million cedis — to be ploughed back into operations.

“The agreement we signed is that when the plant comes back up into operation, we will pay them back their monies,” Awuah Darko said.

“I can guarantee you that in the next four months TOR and BOST will be producing the highest quality petroleum products at a lowest price than anybody can import into the country. We believe that this will give our supply agreement with Mali and Burkina Faso high competitive pricing to enable us guarantee additional throughput from the Bolga facility.”

Both entities have over the years been bogged down by a plethora of difficulties, which Awuah Darko himself admits was the result of mismanagement.

“Today you and I pay an additional  pesewa per litre [as TOR debt recovery levy], which if TOR had been well run we would not have to pay. But as a result of that challenge, we all as citizens of Ghana are paying more for fuel than we actually should.”

When he took over at BOST a couple of years ago, Awuah Darko told the media that he found the company in a state of ‘coma’ and went on to give timelines toward its revival – including efforts to revive pipeline and storage facilities in Buipe and Bolgatanga.

On October 12, 2015, a ceremony was held in Bolga to re- commission the 36,000 tonne facility there, which had been idle for nine years. Awuah-Darko announced at the same ceremony that BOST’s 267-kilometre pipeline between the Buipe and Bolgatanta depots has been revived.

In the process, he said, some 8.2 million litres was recovered from 9million litres of fuel which had been sitting in the pipeline fo nine years.

At the ceremony, BOST als signed an MoU with it counterpart in Burkina Faso Sonahby – to commence supply petroleum products into tl landlocked country.

“The plan is to j immediately to about 15,000 20,000 tonnes of petrolei products every month [to Burk Faso] and then gradually ramp to about 30,000 tonnes,” Awuah Darko told the media.

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