The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Thursday urged stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to invest in small size refineries to enhance national refining capacity.
Speaking at a sensitisation Roadshow on Modular Refinery Initiative in Nigeria in Abuja, the DPR Deputy Director, Engineering and Standard, Mr Alfred Ohiani, gave the advice. He explained that modular refinery is mini or small size refineries able to handle or have refining capacity between 10,000 and 30,000 barrels per day. He said it had a small footprint and the relatively low technology involvement makes it easy and inexpensive to operate.
“Nigeria has a total refining capacity of 445,000 barrels per day that is why it imports petroleum product to meet users’ demand,” he said. The country needs a total refining capacity of two million barrels per day, according to Ohiani. He noted that Dangote Group of companies was building a modern refinery that would have a total refining capacity of 500,000 barrels.
He said the modular refinery initiative was to encourage investors to build small size refineries in every part of the country, to meet national refining capacity of two million barrels per day. However, he advised those interested in investing in refineries to site them close crude oil sources, so as to allow for easy transportation for processing.
“We are not saying you should site refineries only in Niger Delta, you can site them in the north and source for crude oil in neighbouring countries,” he said.
Ohiani also said that those interested will need to seek licence from DPR at $50,000.