ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana's sole refinery, the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), is close to signing a joint venture agreement with PetroSaudi International and a deal is expected soon, Ghanaian President John Mahama said on Tuesday.
The 45,000 barrels-per-day plant has been hobbled by repeated shutdowns in the last four years, often due to a lack of funds to procure crude for processing.
"A joint venture agreement between TOR and PetroSaudi is being finalised to revamp the operations of our refinery. This will reduce the huge amount of foreign exchange spent on importing finished products," Mahama said in his state of the union address to parliament without giving details.
Ghana is one of Africa's newest crude exporters after starting production from its offshore Jubilee field in late 2010. But authorities say the country's refinery needs an upgrade to be able to run the domestically produced oil.
Oil production has become a major source of government revenue and foreign exchange and when it came on stream it led to a spike in GDP growth in 2011, making Ghana one of the world's fastest growing economies.
Current output stands at around 100,000 barrels per day and lags national targets.