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As part of efforts to expand the nation’s refining capacity, the federal government has licensed 10 more modular refineries, making it 32 so far licensed.
As at end of first quarter of last year, 22 modular refineries had been licensed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) with daily refining capacity of 1,429,000 million barrels per day while conventional refineries of between 30,000 to 650,000 barrels per day stood at 35 in number.
Speaking in Lagos at the third edition of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)’s Downstream clinic, DPR director, Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan said licensing more companies is part of efforts to encourage more private investors to key into government’s plan to ensure the country is sufficient in petroleum products by 2019.
A modular refinery is a processing plant that has been constructed entirely on skid mounted structures. Each structure contains a portion of the entire process plant, and through interstitial piping the components link together to form an easily manageable process.
At $50,000 per license for modular refinery, a total sum of $1,600,000 has been generated from the licensing by DPR within the last three years.
Out of the 32 licensees, only two refineries belonging to Dubri oil with 1,000 barrels per day and Niger Delta Exploration Company of 2,000 barrels diesel refinery
President LCCI, Dr (Mrs) Nike Akande said though it is time for the nation to look beyond oil, it is imperative for the federal government to get its policies right adding that the potentials in the oil and gas sector are still largely untapped.
“An increase in investment in modular refinery and even bigger refineries will bring a lot of value to the Nigerian economy as it will conserve our foreign reserve as we import less products as well make Nigeria the oil and gas hub of the African continent”, she said.
Speaking on the theme Modular refinery: Merits and challenges, Pedro Omontuemhen said between $1.4 and $1.8 billion of private investment is required for intervention and rehabilitation projects of existing refineries
He said to actualize the country’s quest for self- sufficiency and end reliance on importation of refined petroleum products by 2019, modular refineries provide a cost effective, flexible and commercially viable option.
“The modular refinery is a cost effective supply option for investors
especially when diesel is the lightest yield. It is distinctly attractive for relatively low capital cost, minimal space requirements, flexibility to meet demand, short payback as well as quick and easy installation of within two years.