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Firm ties refinery construction to full downstream deregulation

Petrocam Nigeria Limited has said it would build a refinery in-country only when the Federal Government fully deregulates the downstream subsector of the oil industry.

The Chief Executive officer of the firm, Mr. Patrick Ilo, stated this at the opening of the firm’s 10th retail outlet in Abule Ado, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Lagos. Ilo said the company as part of its strategic plans in the country would leave a footprint in the retail and refining segments of the petroleum industry.

The firm is an arm of Petrocam International, a South African based oil trading firm with branches in some African countries.

Petrocam, Ilo said, is waiting for the right atmosphere to invest in crude refining business. He said: “We at Petrocam Nigeria are presently not engaging in the building of refinery in the country. We are looking forward to a situation when the subsector would be fully deregulated since the industry is partially deregulated now.

“Deregulation is key to establishment of refineries in Nigeria because it would open up the space wider for operators wishing to invest in crude refining with a view to ending importation of petroleum products such as premium motor spirit (PMS), diesel and kerosene. What operators are advocating is a system, which would allow open entry and open exit and that can only be achieved when the subsector is fully and not partially deregulated as currently practised in Nigeria.”

According to him, the issue of allowing the Federal Government to fix the selling price of fuel at N145 per litre would be a thing of the past when the sector is fully deregulated. He said marketers would be at liberty to determine how much they would sell their products as against a situation where they would be compelled to sell fuel at a modulated price.

The firm’s outlet, Ilo said, is increasing by the day, ditto the consumers of petroleum products in the country, adding that the development informed the decision of the company to continue to spread across the country.

He said the supply of electricity is falling, adding that the development made Petrocam to build solar power to operate its outlets and also provide power to the communities where the stations are built.

He added the company is customer-centric, which among others are the firm’s selling points.

Petrocam started operation in Nigeria as an oil trading firm years ago and later moved into fuel retail services.