TOR-Torentco Lease Agreement: Pressure Mounts On Akufo-Addo To Stop Deal Over Poor Due Diligence Report

TOR-Torentco Lease Agreement: Pressure Mounts On Akufo-Addo To Stop Deal Over Poor Due Diligence Report

  • Civil society and experts in the downstream petroleum sector are calling on Nana Akufo-Addo to stop a deal being cooked to lease TOR to a shady private company
  • COPEC-GH for instance says the move to hand over assets of the strategic state refinery to Torentco Asset Management would fail because the company does not have demonstrable capacity
  • Torentco will, under the agreement, have the authority to refine up to 8 million barrels of oil per year and pay $1 million annually to the state as rent

Over the last couple of weeks, pressure has been mounting on President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government to stop an ongoing agreement to lease the strategic state refinery to a private entity.

Civil society groups and people with knowledge of Ghana's downstream petroleum sector say moves by some influential but shady people close to corridors of power at the Jubilee House to push through an agreement to lease the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to Torentco Asset Management (TAM) is dangerous.

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Pressure mounts on Akufo-Addo to stop deal to lease TOR to Torentco.
A long shot of some TOR's refining equipment (L) and President Nana Akufo-Addo. Source: Facebook/@Emmanuel Romeo, @nakufoaddo
Source: UGC

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC-GH) described the deal as a "disaster in the making", while IMANI Centre for Policy and Education has described it as "misguided".

Details of the deal that has been cooking on the blind side of Ghanaians

Some board members of TOR with vested interest and believed to be doing the bidding of people at the Jubilee House have sought approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to lease its main production assets Torentco Asset Management (TAM).

According to a report by think tank IMANI, under the deal, TOR’s primary production assets would be leased to TAM for six years. TAM would be in charge of TOR's refining operations within the agreement period.

In terms of numbers, TAM would have the authority to refine up to 8 million barrels of oil per year and pay $1 million annually to the state as rent.

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The idea to lease TOR to a strategic investor has become necessary because it has been plagued disappointingly by repeated shutdowns for many years.

Shutdowns and under-capacity production has been due to shortages in available crude after its main lender Ghana Commercial Bank cut off support due to unpaid debts.

COPEC-GH convinced proposals in the TOR-TAM deal not progressive

Speaking exclusively to on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, the Executive Director of COPEC-GH, a think tank in the petroleum sector, said Ghana risks another fiasco like the failed attempt to privatise the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), which has come to be known as the PDS scandal.

Duncan Amoah wants TOR directors behind attempts to bulldoze the deal through to have an immediate change of heart.

He cites a confidential due diligence report on the deal that he says has disclosed that Torentico does not have the financial and technical know-how to take over the operation of a state asset like TOR.

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"We need TOR to be as profitable and productive as anything but it does not mean we should sell TOR to cronies; or sell it to people who don't have any experience whatsoever. They [Torentico] don't have the money, they don't have the capacity," he told

He said for TOR to be moved from the current idle state towards profitability any company that will take over the company must show demonstrable capacity to transform the troubled refinery.

"A lot of influence peddling will go on, people will walk with influential people in the corridors of power and come to you and say we can [transform TOR] but if the track record is not there, you can't risk an asset as strategic as TOR by putting it in the hands of an entity like Torentco," he added.
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Sharing more insights, Duncan Amoah further stated that the time of the controversial TOR-TAM deal is poor because if it drags, TOR would be pushed out of the refineries market in Ghana and even in the sub-region.

"We must not drag this matter for too long. There are better-suited entities that can transform TOR so we need to move fast. The earlier the better because Dangote Refinery is likely to come on stream by the end of this month [June]...Sentuo Refinery is also likely to come on stream by the end of this month and they will be cited a few metres away from TOR.
"We want to see TOR take up a significant segment of the refineries market before these giant developments come on stream. Because they are likely to be more economically run as compared to TOR, if they come onstream before TOR starts working, TOR will struggle to capture any significant market share," Duncan Amoah told

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Some workers of TOR back controversial deal

Meanwhile, has sighted some reports suggesting that some workers of the TOR feel the deal is good for the refinery.

The workers have organised themselves into a union and have released a statement on Tuesday, June 20 to say the deal holds the potential to revive the refinery.

COPEC-GH's Duncan Amoah, however, thinks the workers backing the deal have not been properly briefed about the pertinent issues.

Mahama promises to revive Tema Oil Refinery if he becomes president has reported in a separate story that John Dramani Mahama has promised to revive the troubled TOR if Ghanaians give him the nod to become president again.

He made the promise when he addressed delegates at the Ashaiman Constituency as part of his campaign tour of the Greater Accra Region.

Experts believe that TOR's revival is a critical solution to the excessively high cost of fuel in the country.

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