One of the country's strategic assets, the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is about to be handed over to a phony company under some bizarre circumstances by its management and board of directors led by Francis Adu Tutu Boateng and Robert Nachinab Doameng Mosore.
Insiders have informed The Herald that some big men at the Presidency, are behind the discussion, claiming President Akufo-Addo, has given his stamp of approval to the deal, but this is being disputed.
The suspicion is heighten by the fact that, there are no feasibility studies on the project and no due diligence done by TOR on the company called "Interstates Oil Refinery LLC (ISOR)", which the management is bent on handling over the state assets to.
But the board chair, Robert Nachinab Doameng Mosore, is mentioned as the most ardent promoter of the transaction.
Many documents intercepted by The Herald on the transaction, between TOR and the private company, revealed that the two parties have pledged to keep the discussion as a top secret from the media.
"No party will make or issue formal or informal announcement or statement to the press or any third party in connection with the agreement without the prior written consent of the other parties", one of the documents; a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had sternly warned.
One Dr. G. Talabani, identified as Executive Chairman of ISOR, is leading the negotiation for and on behalf of the private company against the managers of the facility.
ISOR, claims to have its offices at Haatso in Accra, but strikingly uses one single mobile phone number; +44779906333, which is registered in the United Kingdom, as a means of contact.
Aside the strange warning against publicity, there is also a confidentiality clause. The clause insists, "as of the date of the MoU, the parties hereby agree that, each shall not discuss the business and service contemplated here in this JVA, unless such discussions are approved by the party in writing. This paragraph is intended to bind the two Parties hereto in agreement not to circumvent one another in the common purpose of this JVA and this non-circumvention agreement shall be binding and enforceable upon each party hereto".
Aside the secrecy surrounding the discussions which were expected to be formalized later today; Tuesday September 8, 2020, at the Tema premises of TOR, have had many saying something dirty is about to happen with TOR, because the documents signed by both parties, appear very doubtful.
They want to know how such a transaction will be done without a feasibility studies on the project and no due diligence done by TOR on ISOR, to determine the companies credibility in managing the state asset.
The documents sighted by The Herald so far, include the MoU signed by both TOR and ISOR, a Joint Venture Agreement by the two parties and other document titled "Re: Confirmation of Funding for TOR Upgrading and Expansion Project".
The MoU had said, "TOR is seeking to improve its existing plant whose current capacity is 45,000 bpsd (barrel per stream day) so that it is untilized to its full capacity and efficiencies, and in addition, TOR is willing to make available an adjacent land it owns for the purpose of establishing an adjacent refinery plant of 100,000 bpsd capacity".
It added how "ISOR has been looking to establish a new refinery in Ghana for a number of years and has the means to raise finance for both the improvement of the existing refinery and the establishment of the new refinery plant of 100,000 bpsd capacity (new refinery), thus with a combined total capacity of 145,000 bpsd, and is will to raise the required finance for the improvement of the existing refinery and new refinery (the projects").
It further explained that, "the aim of this Memorandum of Understanding is to create a non-binding understanding between the Parties in order to realize the identified projects, under the premise of abiding by the legal provisions and regulations of Ghana. For this purpose, both Parties declare their willingness at all times to render mutual help and assistance to this aim. The Parties in this MOU declare their willing to realize the objectives of the Projects…."
One other document sighted by The Herald, bears the heading "Letter of status and progress funding procedure ISOR Project", raises additional suspicion on the intended transaction, and President Akufo-Addo is being asked to immediately step in and demand clarity.
This document has the signature of one Dr. Peter Peters, who identifies himself as Head of Compliance and Risk Management, as well as the Legal Counsel of a company called, Golden Springs Funds SCSP located at 9A Boulevard Prince Henri, 1742 Luxembourg.
The strange thing about this letter, however, is that Dr. Peters, mentions his corporate office to be located at 82 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1S 1HP, United Kingdom and provided a mobile number as +442087207225 for him to be reached.
Dr. Peters in his one-page letter claimed that ISOR, had "signed a binding Term Sheet with Golden Springs for funding of the project of upgrading and extending TEMA (Tema Oil Refinery – Ghana). We are pleased to confirm that the Financial Funding for the project now has the so called 'funding secured in principle status', pending on the successful completion of the Underwriting (including the Due Diligence) processes".
Other parts of the Golden Springs Funds "GSF and ISOR agreed funding to be released in tranches based on the specified Proceed of Fund, starting with a first Tranche of US$100 million, followed by the other Tranches of a series of Mezzanine Loans guided by evidence of satisfactory progress and milestones, to the full estimated total Funding of US$2.2 billion".
Some of the document in the custody of The Herald, have been copied to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Executive Secretary to State Interest & Government Authority (SIGA), Stepehn Asamaoh Boateng, Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, the Deputy Minister of Finance Responsible for Energy, the Solicitor Secretary of TOR.
It is not clear if indeed, they have received these documents and whether they have taken notice of the credibility challenges with ISOR.
More to come!