21 March 2016, Abuja – Nigeria’s quest for domestic fuel sufficiency may have been given a lift with the award of 22 licences for modular refineries to private individuals.
The refineries have combined capacities of 1.429 million barrels per day, mbpd. Efforts to boost domestic refining capacity through other alternatives like modular refining, follows the inability of the nation’s five refineries, with combined capacity of 446,000bpd to meet daily national requirement of 40 million litres per day.
The development comes as the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, weekend, refuted a national daily report (not Vanguard) that it had withdrawn the licences awarded to some private investors. A statement from the Oil and gas industry, reiterated that it “has not withdrawn the licence of any private refinery.”
It added, “The Department is in alignment with Government’s aspiration of improving Nigeria’s refining capacity by strengthening its regulatory oversight function of the petroleum sector in Nigeria.”
The DPR also used the opportunity to clarify the status about private refineries in Nigeria, to avoid further misrepresentation of facts, “in line with our commitment to entrench transparency in oil and gas regulatory function.”
Rather than withdrawing some licences, the Department said it had in 2007, reviewed the existing guidelines for private refining. It said the review resulted in a new guiding document, “Guidelines for the Establishment of Hydrocarbon Processing Plants in Nigeria,” which it said “was introduced to ensure that only committed investors were licenced.”
Based on the reviewed guidelines, the DPR noted among others that, “there are currently 25 private refinery licences granted to companies, with 21 in the Licence to Establish, LTE category, while four in the Approval to Construct, ATC category.
“Three of the 25 licenced companies are billed to construct conventional stick-build plants, while 22 will construct modular units with a proposed combined refining capacity of 1,429,000 bpd.”
The statement also clarified that: “There are three stages of licencing for establishment of private refineries in Nigeria namely; Licence to Establish, LTE, Approval to Construct, ATC, and Licence to Operate, LTO. · DPR granted LTE to 21 companies with a validity period of 18 months in 2002 · In 2004, 17 out of the earlier granted LTE were granted ATC for a 24 month validity period
“The details of current status of licenced private refineries and their refining capacities are available on our website: www.dpr.gov.ng,” the statement added