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‘Private Companies to Add 1.4mbpd Refining Capacity’

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that licensed private refineries in the country have proposed combined refining capacity of 1,429,000 barrels of crude oil per day, stressing that it has not withdrawn the license of any private refinery in the country.

The agency said in a statement at the weekend that it was in alignment with the federal government’s aspiration of improving Nigeria’s refining capacity by strengthening its regulatory oversight function of the petroleum sector.

According to the agency, there are three stages of licencing for establishment of private refineries in Nigeria- License to Establish (LTE); Approval to Construct (ATC) and License to Operate (LTO).

The DPR further stated that it 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 Department in 2007 reviewed the existing guidelines and a new guiding document, “Guidelines for the Establishment of Hydrocarbon Processing Plants in Nigeria” was introduced to ensure that only committed investors were licensed,” said the statement.

Based on this reviewed guidelines, DPR stated that there were currently 25 private refinery licenses granted to companies with 21 in the LTE category, while four in the Approval to Construct (ATC) category.

“Furthermore, three of the 25 licensed 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 added.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said recently that Nigeria would begin to export refined petrol and other petrochemical products within the next four years if plans to ramp up the country’s domestic refining capacity work out well.

He noted that if the plans to co-locate new refinery investments within the country’s existing refinery complexes in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt become successful, and the private refinery owned by the Dangote Group comes on stream, Nigeria will produce more petrol than she needs and then export the excess.

He explained that it would take at least three years to get the co-located refineries to begin production, adding that Dangote’s is expected to come on stream between 2019 and 2020.

“The policy on the whole is that we must target a time frame of 12 and 18 months to get out of importation.
“It is not good for the country, it is not a good image, it does not create jobs and we lose tax when it comes to the government and creates a huge amount of quite frankly, emotional backlash when people have to queue looking for fuel,” said Kachikwu.

This post was syndicated from THISDAYLIVE. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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