Energy Consultant, Dr Yussif Sulemana, says in order for Ghana have energy security it must begin processing its own crude oil.
Speaking to Citi Business News, on the sidelines of a workshop organized the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) on the country’s energy sector, Dr Sulemana said the country cannot have secured and reliable energy without a functioning refinery.
“We produce this crude oil which is what we call black gold. We export it then we end up bringing finished products. These finished products are just the derivatives of the crude oil. Then you ask yourself what is our strategy? Our strategy, is it to export crude oil and import finished products? Is it a sustainable strategy? The answer is no. So until we are able to add value to this raw material where we refine it, we are getting nowhere. Refining means that you just send it to the refinery to get this finished product such as gasoline, diesel, LPG and then the rest. If we are able to get this product, and we minimize the quantum of the finished product that we are exporting then we can say that we can achieve energy sufficiency, or we can be energy independent, or we will be secured so far as energy security is concerned. Nobody knew the coronavirus will come and collapse everything in terms of travelling. Now it came to a time no one could travel. Have we asked ourselves that do we think about a possibility whereby ships might not be able to bring finished product and crude oil to Ghana probably due to terrorist attack probably due to a pandemic within the high seas? Now if Ghana is not able to bring in a finished product for a month, the country will go on its knees.”
Ghana presently does not have a working refinery.
Its first and only refinery Tema Oil Refinery hasn’t been operational for a while now due to a number of challenges.
But government recently passed a bill for the establishment of a petroleum hub with a budget of about 60 Billion dollars which would process crude into various products.