Institute for Energy Security, IES, has called on the government to pay special attention to the country’s only refinery by addressing the leadership crisis, which continues to negatively affect the operations of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

“One would have thought lessons were going to be drawn from the Furnace (F61) explosion at Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) about 12 months ago. Unfortunately, management of the refinery appear not to have learnt any lesson from the January 26th, 2017 incident that destroyed property and nearly took away lives of the refinery workers,” IES said in a press statement. 

“This laxity has resulted in the rapture of Residue Air-Cooler (EA64) tubes forcing a shutdown of the refinery plant on January 18th, 2018” 

"The statement signed by the Principal Research Analyst, Richmond Rockson said, “TOR’s Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) which was started on 2nd January 2018 after a delayed turnaround maintenance for 9 months as against a 3-month scheduled program due to poor planning; had to undergo a forced-shutdown as a result of non-compliance to procedures and practices.”

“As a practice, every maintenance work should have been concluded with a Post-turnaround report to validate the integrity of the major parts and components.” 

“From post start-up developments, it is clear that the integrity of the Plant’s major parts were not established before the rush start-up. Two weeks after the startup, a leakage was detected in the Stabilizer reboiler (heat-exchanger E-19), forcing the CDU to go a week without stabilization.” 

“Normally, when crude oil is fed into the CDU, it should take about 4 hours to warm up, break circulation at 200°C and attain transfer temperature at 345°C for distillation to begin. And anything beyond 4 to 5 hours distorts the crude’s yield pattern."

IES said, “Today, technical and operational lapses, factionalism, vindictiveness, mismanagement, absence of teamwork, lack of due diligence have consumed Tema Oil Refinery and is causing financial loss to the state.”

IES said recent happenings at TOR calls for immediate action and is therefore calling on the government to as a matter of urgency “address the leadership crisis at TOR.”