Xu Gingguang (arrowed), Group Chairman, Sentuo Oil Refinery, briefing Kobina Tahir Hammond, Minister of Trade and Industry, on the operations of the facility during the tour in Tema. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
Xu Gingguang (arrowed), Group Chairman, Sentuo Oil Refinery, briefing Kobina Tahir Hammond, Minister of Trade and Industry, on the operations of the facility during the tour in Tema. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO

Sentuo Oil Refinery to start test run August

Sentuo Oil Refinery Limited's new oil refinery under construction in the Tema industrial enclave is expected to commence commercial operations (test run) in August, this year. 

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The $1.98 billion investment has a capacity of five million metric tonnes per year, that is 100,000 barrels per stream a day.

The operationalisation of the plant has been divided into two phases.

Phase one will see the facility processing up to two million metric tonnes per year, which would later be scaled up to five million metric tonnes per year.

The refinery will employ about 900 people directly.

The Technical Advisor of the project, George Andoh, disclosed this yesterday when the Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, paid a familiarisation visit to the project site.

Mr Andoh said the new refinery would help the country to cut its long-standing dependence on imported gasoline and diesel supplies, and save the country the millions of dollars spent to import finished petroleum products.

Mr Hammond said the presence of the facility in Ghana, driven by the One district, One factory initiative, was an example of President Akufo-Addo's vision for Ghana as far as the development of the country was concerned.

He said the facility should see an end to access to refined products challenges in Ghana, adding that ultimately, after the second phase, it was going to refine enough products to meet the entire petroleum needs of the country.

Mr Hammond further indicated that the amount of money that went into the importation of finished products into the country was phenomenal, hence such a facility in Ghana producing the volumes required was a welcome initiative.

Responding to a proposition from the Chairman of the Sentuo Group of Companies, Xu Ningquan, to have at least one million barrels of crude oil from Ghana's oil fields for the test run when the facility is commissioned, Mr Hammond said he would liaise with the Minister of Energy to see how feasible the proposal was. 

Energy needs

Mr Ningquan said the project should be seen as an entirely Ghana project designed to support the economy as far as the energy needs were concerned.

He expressed optimism that when finally commissioned, the company would meet the energy needs of the country and also contribute to foreign exchange savings.

Mr Ningquan appealed to the government for support in terms of tax waivers and other exemptions, as well as an enabling environment for the successful operation of the plant.

A communication consultant of Sentuo Oil Refinery Ltd, Rev. Dr George Dawson Ahmoah, said to avoid unfair trade practices and considering the magnitude of impact the facility would make in the downstream petroleum industry, it was imperative that effective steps were taken to ensure that domestic refining of petroleum products was not adversely affected by dumping, countervailing or importation.

He said that should be in line with the government’s Made-in-Ghana campaign and appealed to the minister for support to create an effective safeguard measure for the domestic petroleum refining industry through the Ghana International Trade Commission (Safeguards Measures) Regulations 2020. 

writer's email [email protected]

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