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Modular Refineries Won’t Make Petroleum Products Available Everywhere – Minister

Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the establishment of modular refineries might not resolve the problem of scarcity of petroleum products in Nigeria.

Kachukwu said that the Federal Government actually granted modular refinery licences in order to open the space for private sector players, adding that modular refineries were not a guarantee there would be petroleum products everywhere in the country.

He stated this at the weekend while fielding questions from reporters during the second edition of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF) 2019 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The year’s event, which had the theme, “Maximising Investments in the Oil and Gas Industry for the Benefit of the Nigerian People,” was organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The minister explained that three out of the 10 modular refineries offered licences had so far shown commitment and commenced work, stressing that one of them would start production this month.

He said the clarification became necessary so that most Nigerians would not have the impression that the coming on stream of modular refineries would make products available everywhere.

Kachukwu, however, noted that the setting up of modular refineries would reduce the number of artisanal refiners significantly.

He said, “Three of the modular refineries; I have visited at least two, where I laid foundation, where they had begun their engineering, they had began construction. Out of the 10 we promised ought to be brought up within certain time, three are literally far gone.

“I think one of them is actually supposed to go into production this April. The other seven are far gone in terms of FIG stages, raising finances, structural designs have been approved by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). So, a lot of work is going on there.

“I always point out when I talk about modular refineries so that we do not create an excitement that once we build modular refineries, there would be products everywhere.

“Having a modular refinery that will produce 5,000 barrels production; that’s not what’s going to make the difference. But certainly it’s a good way to bring private sector into it.”

He said that he was talking a few minutes ago about chances that the population of those who are doing illegal refineries would reduce substantially.

“We will like to see how we can get cooperatives around them so that we can create a business model that enables them to transit from illegal structures to legal structures.

“So, a lot more work. But what’s important is that it is on; it has started, it is yielding fruits and very soon you will begin to see some of them,” he added.