The projection by the Federal Government that Nigeria would begin fuel export by the end of 2019 is being threatened by imminent failure of 33 modular refinery licensees across the country.
These modular refinery licenses, checks by New Telegraph shows, are yet to secure Authority to construct (AtoC) several years after the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) issued them. Concerned by this development, President Muhammadu Buhari has, according to a document of the ministry of Petroleum Resources, ordered issuance of import waiver for 3 of the modular refineries.
Stating that only 10 of 43 refineries licenses had so far secured DPR’s authority to construct (A to C) license, the ministry said; “what government is doing to encourage investors; include issuance of waivers by President Muhammadu Buhari for custom duty to the three modular refineries that are in advanced stages in Rivers, Delta, and Imo states. “It means that all the equipment that will be brought in after being vetted by the government would be brought in for free without payment of custom duty,” the document stated.
“That would save them a good amount depending on the size and complexity of the refinery.” Besides, it noted: “Today, we have about 43 licensed new refineries, both modular and large sized refineries. We have 250,000 barrels licensed refinery that was given to Petrolex. “Another 100,000 barrels license refinery was given to a company in Port Harcourt.
There are many other modular refineries being established, from 1000 to 30000 barrels capacity. “The objective of modular refinery is to ensure that the big capital requirement, which seems to be the major reason why refineries are not established is overcome by building small size refineries.” About 10 of the refineries have, according to the government, been issued authority to construct, meaning that they have already been given a licence to establish, and have been certified by the DPR. “Two of the refineries are almost ready for commissioning any time soon,” Chairman, Federal Government’s zero gas flaring scheme, Mr. Bello Sulaiman, added.
“ One of them in River State is a 10,000- barrel capacity refinery made up of two modules of 5,000 each, and have reached mechanical completion stage. “A 7,000-barrel capacity modular refinery is located in Kwale, in Delta State, others are spread across the states including Imo, Nassarawa, and Lagos. “Refineries cannot be too many in Nigeria. We want to ensure that all our crude is not exported. “We want crude to be refined in Nigeria so that we can take advantage of the total value chain of crude oil conversion.”