West African crude producer targets exports to region
Existing refinery’s output reduced by January explosion
The operator of Ghana’s sole oil refinery said the planned capacity of a proposed second plant could be doubled as the West African nation targets exports to neighboring countries.
Tema Oil Refinery will complete studies next year to build a 200,000 barrel-a-day plant in the port city, 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of the capital, Accra, Managing Director Isaac Osei said in an interview. Output at the existing 45,000 barrel-a-day plant has been slashed by an explosion at its crude distillation unit in January.
“We need that refinery to strategically position ourselves to service other countries, especially land-locked countries,” Osei said in Tema. He declined to say how much the plant will cost or how it will be funded. Nations in the region such as Togo, Burkina Faso and Mali have no oil-refining capacity.
Former President John Mahama said in May that a new plant would be designed with a capacity of 100,000 barrels a day. Ghana’s output of crude, which started in 2010, is forecast to reach more than 240,000 barrels a day by 2021 as operators such as Tullow Oil Plc increase output.
Osei, 65, was appointed in January following the election of President Nana Akufo-Addo the month before when his New Patriotic Party defeated the National Democratic Congress. The NPP has pledged to accelerate growth by investing in infrastructure and processing commodities that are produced locally such as oil.
For now, production from the existing Tema refinery has been limited to 28,000 barrels a day, Osei said.
“The broken furnace has been isolated and works on other components are under way,” he said.