The Institute for Energy Security (IES), has called on the management of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), to investigate an explosion that occurred at the premises of the refinery on Thursday.
A furnace at the crude distillation unit of the refinery exploded on Thursday forcing officials of the company to shut down the facility abruptly.
Although the cause of explosion is not immediately known, the Institute for Energy Security is of the view that the non-adherence to safety protocol and standard operating procedures, lack of adequate supervision, inexperience operating and production management personnel, and complacency; are many of the factors that could result in such an incident.
“The IES wish to call on management of TOR, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the Ministry of Energy and the government; as a matter of urgency launch an investigation into the incident to unravel the cause of blow-up, and take steps to restore capacity while preserving the remaining production capacity. Anything short of these could jeopardise the country’s fuel security, threaten jobs, push back the gains made so far by TOR, turn the refinery to a storage terminal again, and impact negativity on the country’s socio-economic growth,” a statement from the institute added.
The new furnace was commissioned on December 2, 2016, as part of an expansion project carried out by TOR to increase its processing capacity.
Tema Oil Refinery had the capacity to supply approximately 61% of the country’s fuel demand.
This was made possible after the completion of installation of the new furnace to replace the old furnace 01-F61, which broke down in 2013, and as a result forced the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) plant to drop to 28,000 barrels per stream day, from a designed capacity of 45,000 barrels per stream day.
The new furnace was commissioned mid December 2016, and coincided with TOR’s receipt of its first indigenous crude oil from the Tweneboa-Enyera-Ntomme (TEN) field.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana