Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has evicted about 90 bulk road vehicles (tankers) and trucks which park close to TOR pipelines used to carry petroleum products in and out of the company.
Assessment carried out by TOR Anti-fire and Explosion Campaign Team indicated that the use of fire for cooking, burning of refuse, syphoning of fuel among other things by these drivers could cause an explosion.
In 2014, fire gutted some pipelines of TOR laid behind Cocoa Processing Company leading to the death of a resident who was burnt beyond recognition.
TOR has, since last year, been engaging the drivers on the need to vacate the area.
The eviction exercise was carried out with assistance from the police and other security agencies with little or no force due to cooperation from the drivers.
Tema Oil Refinery has been one of Ghana’s strategic assets over the years as the only refinery.
Crude oil is the refinery’s main raw material for production, which is mostly imported from Nigeria and transferred through pipelines from Tema harbour for storage in tanks and processed into several finished products for consumption.
Therefore, any illegal activity close to these pipelines is seen as a national threat.
Public Affairs Manager for TOR, Dr Kingsley Antwi-Boasiako said the area was being barricaded to prevent future intrusion.
“At TOR, we put safety first. This is not the first time we are undertaking such exercise. What is different is the fact that we are barricading this area.
“Anyone who trespasses will have himself to blame. Apart from this, there will be surveillance by both internal security and police here”, he indicated.
A member of the TOR Anti-fire and Explosion Campaign Team, John Winston Quasie maintained that Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) ought to be up and doing to evict drivers who occupy areas close to TOR but fell under TMA.
“Activities of these drivers directly opposite where we carry this exercise corrode our lines and because there are no detectors on the lines, it will be difficult to know which part is leaking. The dangerous aspect is these drivers also use fire and the whole place will go off within a twinkle of an eye.
General Services Manager and member of TOR Anti-fire and Explosion Campaign Team, Rosina Brew said in the event of an explosion, escaping would be next to impossible due to where these tankers and trucks are parked.
“Explosion is the last thing anybody would wish for TOR because it will be the biggest disaster in Ghana’s history”, she said.
Story: News DESK