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The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has confirmed that it applies chemicals to raise the octane level of some finished petroleum products brought into the country by some of the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs), in order to meet the required standards.

According to TOR, the correction is done when the product fails to meet the refinery’s specification. In most of the cases, it is the importing BDC that approaches TOR to assist it, otherwise, the vessel carrying the product would be turned back without discharging its cargo.

Last month, The Chronicle carried a story about alleged inferior petroleum products imported by some of the BDCs. The story alleged that in most of the cases, TOR has to apply chemicals to raise the octane level of the products, before they satisfy standards for distribution to the market.

After the publication, lawyers for the BDCs wrote a strongly-worded rejoinder to this paper, denying the allegation contained in the report.

The Public Affairs Manager of TOR, Mrs. Aba Lokko, however, disclosed in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle that her outfit sometimes adds chemicals in order to raise the octane level of some of the products imported by the BDCs for a fee.

The addition is to ensure that the products meet the required standard in Ghana. Mrs. Lokko was, however, emphatic that since the beginning of this year, no BDC had brought in products as off specification.

On the issue of retirees who have been recalled to revamp the Premium Forming Unit (PFU) and are being paid for no work done, the public affairs boss stated that all, but two, had been asked to go home.

She stated that TOR planned to reactivate that plant, but the refinery’s financial health would not permit their continued stay, hence the decision to dispense with their services, even though they are considered to be experienced on that plant.

Touching on the pipelines, which are presently buried in a pond behind the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Mrs. Lokko said TOR and Ghana Water Company (GWC) were collaborating to solve that problem.

She further stated that a company had shown interest to relocate the pipelines, possibly, above the ground, where the flooding is happening, but the refinery is yet to take a decision on it.

The flooding is conspicuously advertising the corrosion of the pipelines and the possibility of another devastating fire, since leaked products have found their way to the surface of what has now become a pond.

The source of the emerging water is immediately not established, but what is clear is that it is coming from underground.

The Chronicle’s on-going investigations at TOR revealed that after the fire of 29th April, 2014, when the naphtha line leaked, TOR excavated and removed concrete slabs that were placed on the buried lines on which a rail track had been laid.

Water then started gathering till it formed a pond that submerged the pipes. For unknown reasons, little attention was paid to the problem, and it has now developed into a major crisis.
Source: The Chronicle

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