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Monday, 29 January 2018

No going back on private refineries, APRL insists

No going back on private refineries, APRL insists

Despite the Federal Government’s renewed commitment to attain self-sufficiency in the refining of petroleum products by 2019, stakeholders in Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas sector have insisted that the expiration of licenses issued to investors to build private refineries will not hinder the country’s self-sufficiency target.

The Secretary, Association of Private Refineries Licensees, Mr. Stephen Idoko, said that the expiration of some licenses would not stop modular refineries from helping the government achieve its target of self-sufficiency by
2019.

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He said many of the private projects have reached advanced stages, and that investors were getting the necessary support from the government and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

“Government had directed the Bank of Industry to assist the refineries with loans. We are still talking. And very soon, many of our members will begin to benefit. A lot of our members are not waiting for the loan; they are also making private arrangements to finance the projects,”
he said.

He said Clairgold Oil and Gas Engineering Limited, which is constructing a 20,000 barrel per day modular refinery in Koko, Delta State, had reached a significant level, noting part of the objective is to reduce the country’s importation of refined petrol and boost the Gross Domestic
Product.

Idoko added that the procurement, engineering, and fabrication of the modular refinery and other utilities had commenced, and operations would begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, adding that the Niger Delta Petroleum Corporation had also commenced expansion of its refinery in Delta State.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has vowed to resign if Nigeria fails to attain self-sufficiency in the refining of petroleum products by 2019.

However, the licenses granted by the Department of Petroleum Resources for private refineries expired in 2017, without achieving its purposes.

Affirming that the 2019 deadline for Nigeria to stop the importation of petroleum products is realisable, the Chief Operating Officer, Refineries, and Petrochemical Autonomous Business Unit, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Anibor Kragha, said potential financiers have been identified to revamp the refineries.

He said: “We have got so many expressions of interest, and we are going to do a formal evaluation, to identify who the potential financiers are, based on their submissions.

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