Ghana's Tema Refinery Shuts Due Oil Shortage

Source: Reuters 4/14/2010, Location: Africa

Ghana's 45,000 barrel-per-day Tema refinery shut down 10 days ago for an undetermined amount of time due to a lack of crude oil supplies, the managing director of the plant said.

"We ran out of crude and had to shut down," said Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Managing Director Kwame Ampofo. "This happened because a supplier we relied on very much disappointed us and could not deliver as expected." Ghana's Energy Ministry said in a statement Tuesday evening that a crude supply vessel was turned away from the refinery because it did not meet "the required standards of Tema Offshore Mooring."

The refinery has had ongoing operations problems due to financial woes that have made it difficult to buy crude cargoes, and was shuttered for much of 2009.

Ghana's government stepped in to ease TOR's debt burden last month by paying its main creditor, Ghana Commercial Bank, some $316 million.

But Ampofo said arrangements were yet to be finalised for the bank to resume providing letters of credit.

"We are still negotiating with the banks over some of the conditions they are putting forward," he said.

On Tuesday, workers at the refinery held a meeting and called for the removal of Energy Minister Joe Oteng Adjei, saying he was not capable of overseeing the facility.


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