THE refining capacity of Nigeria has increased from 445,000 barrels per day, bpd, to 462,000 bpd, as private investors complete the construction of three new refineries, indicating an increase of 3.8 per cent.

The refining capacity of the nation’s four refineries, located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Warri, Delta State and Kaduna, Kaduna State, had for several years been stagnated at 445,000 bpd, which was inadequate to meet domestic demand.

But in its latest report -List of Valid Refinery Licences – obtained by Vanguard yesterday, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, stated that the completion of work by Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, OPAC Refineries Limited and Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (Train2), which have 5,000 bpd, 7,000 bpd and 5,000 bpd respectively, would increase the nation’s capacity by 17,000 bpd, bringing the total to 462,000 bpd.

However, the report did not disclose when the new plants, located in Ibegwe, Imo State; Umuseti, Delta State and Ogbele, Rivers States, would come on stream. But in his email response to Vanguard, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, who specifically referred to Waltersmith, said: “The Waltersmith Modular Refinery is a 5,000bpd facility with total annual product volume of 271 million litres and daily output of about 300,000liters of diesel (AGO), over 50,000 litres of kerosene (DPK) and 400,000 litres of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).

“These numbers are significant in plugging some of the gaps in local refining. This meant secured source of undiluted petroleum products for businesses within Imo and other surrounding states. ‘’I must commend the doggedness and professionalism of the Waltersmith , led by the Chairman, Mr Abdulrasak Isa.

‘’Within a period of two years of our partnership, we have come to appreciate the growth plans of this independent oil producer, including the phase2 of this project, which has a capacity of 30,000 bpd. “We had targeted the commissioning of the refinery in May 2020 but this was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘’As a key partner in the establishment of the modular refinery, we plan to invite dignitaries within the limits of COVID-19 protocols to witness this remarkable event, led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva. ‘’We will use the event to showcase what can be realized when there is synergy between government and the private sector.”

Engr. Wabote, who confirmed that the plant was ready, said: “The refinery is ready for commissioning with the completion of the pre-commissioning tests. With the satisfactory inspection by DPR, the facility is ready for start-up and we are aiming for August 2020.” He stated that the construction of the $12 billion Dangote Refinery, which has the capacity to refine 650,000 bpd, has reached 71 percent completion.”

President of Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote, had stated: “One of the reasons the CBN is supporting us is that by the time we become operational, we will not only be creating jobs, but also reducing the outflow of foreign exchange, not only in petroleum products but also in petrochemicals and fertilisers.”

‘’The journey to shift from a crude oil business model into a refining business model has begun in earnest. From where we sit, we are seeing some traction towards this goal and we are ready to partner with credible project promoters in achieving this target. “We are proud that we have used this project to demonstrate that government policies regarding modular refineries are doable and we have put strategies in place to replicate similar projects elsewhere.

 

Source: Vanguard

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