Nigeria’s first 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) modular refinery owned by the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, an independent oil and gas company in Nigeria, is set to be unveiled in November.
Initially, the modular refinery in Rivers, a state in Nigeria’s South-South region, had a capacity to refine 1,000 bpd crude daily but it was upgraded to 10,000 bpd. The company already has a pioneer 1,000 bpd mini-refinery in the same site and the new refinery is expected to be inaugurated in the first week of November by the Presidency. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, Edobor Iyamu, stated during a media workshop themed ‘Agenda for the Niger Delta New Vision.’
Plans to construct additional refineries in the country are still underway as a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of another 5,000 bpd modular refinery in Obigwe, Ohaji, Imo State is expected to happen soon.
Early this year, out of 35 companies that expressed interest in establishing refineries in the country, 13 got approval from the country’s department of petroleum resources to establish the modular refineries. There are three stages in the process of refinery establishment; Licence to Establish (LTE), Authority to Construct (ATC) and Licence to Operate (LTO). The total proposed refining capacities of the licensed refineries stand at 300,000 barrels.
The government has repeatedly noted that establishing modular refineries is one of the key ways to resolve agitation, create employment and stop illegal refining of crude in the Niger Delta region of the country where most of Nigeria’s crude is located. Currently, there are 10 modular refineries located in four states in the Niger Delta region; Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta and Edo State.
According to Capt Emmanuel Ihenacho, the chairman of indigenous oil firm Integrated Oil and Gas Limited Chairman, Nigeria needs at least 100 modular refineries by 2020 to ensure sufficient local fuel production. With Nigeria’s refineries poorly maintained over the years, none of the country’s four major refineries with a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day achieved up to 50 percent of their production capacity in 2017. If all the refineries were working at full capacity, they would have been able to produce more than 35 million litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) per day. Estimates say Nigerians consume between 40 – 48 million litres daily. This would have saved the country millions in foreign currency spent on importation. Nigeria’s central bank disclosed in May, that the country spent $36.37 billion on the importation of petroleum products from 2013 to 2017.
Hopefully, the modular refineries will make up for the deficiency. The Dangote Refinery, with capacity in excess of 600,000 barrels is also expected to come on stream by 2022.