The General Transport Petroleum Chemical Workers Union, the Mother Union of Tema Oil Refinery employees, is meeting with its Management to discuss the refinery’s operations.

This follows a news conference by the workers to air their grievances about the refinery’s inactivity.

TOR, which has the capacity to refine 45,000 barrels of crude oil per day, is currently only carrying finished products rather than fulfilling its core mandate of refining crude.

National Chairman of the GTPCWU, Bernard Owusu, told the GNA in Tema that they had a successful meeting with the Minister of Energy last Tuesday about upgrading the refinery’s operations. Mr. Owusu stated that the planned picketing and series of activities in public locations to support their demands cannot not take place as planned because the Police said they did not provide them with sufficient notice as required by the Public Order Act.

However, he added that a letter had been issued to the Police and TOR workers in Tema would engage in a series of industrial actions between May 2 and 5. Every day, between 06:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., TOR workers are also scheduled to picket the Motorway Roundabout, Rana Roundabout, MP’s Roundabout, Hospital Roundabout, and Community 5 Traffic Light.

Mr Owusu said Ghana needs about 4.8 billion dollars in petroleum product imports on average each year.

Should TOR be producing or refining crude, the forex requirement for the import petroleum products would be reduced by more than half.

Other advantages, he claimed, include cheaper local ex-pump costs due to the elimination of some import levies, such as the freight rate of 92  dollars for petrol, 101 dollars for diesel, and 83 dollars for LPG.

He noted that restoring TOR to full capacity will reduce financing costs because these transactions were priced in cedis.

The Union argued that, given Ghana’s current financial difficulties and debt restructuring, major advantages of TOR should be prioritised on the national agenda.