Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has confirmed that 10 modular refineries were at advanced stages of development in the Niger Delta.
According to his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, the 10 modular refineries were located in five out of the nine states in the Niger Delta region. They are located in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Imo states. Osinbajo said that two of the refineries, Amakpe Refinery (Akwa Ibom), and OPAC Refinery (Delta State), have their mini-refineries modules already fabricated, assembled and containerized overseas, ready for shipment to Nigeria for installation.
The total proposed refining capacities of the 10 licensed refineries stands at 300,000 barrels. “Advanced stage of development for the modular refineries means that the projects have passed the Licence to Establish (LTE) stage, while some have the Authority to Construct (ATC) licence or close to having it because they have met some critical requirements in the Licensed stage. “There are three stages in the process of refinery establishment; Licence to Establish (LTE), Authority to Construct (ATC) and Licence to Operate (LTO).’’
The Vice President believes the modular refinery initiative which featured prominently in recent talks between the Federal Government and the oil-producing areas, as represented by PANDEF, will also reposition the petroleum industry. They would ensure self-sufficiency of petroleum products while serving as a disincentive for illegal refineries and oil pollution.
According to him, the Buhari’s administration is committed to promoting the establishment of privately financed modular refineries so as to increase local refining capacity, create jobs, ensure peace and stability in the Niger Delta. He explained that end-of-the-year review meeting of the Niger Delta Inter-Ministerial Committee was hold at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Osinbajo noted that the Federal Government, in line with its Niger Delta New Vision, was targeting measurable objectives in its efforts towards implementing development projects in the region. He added that the December 22 meeting received a report that 38 licensed privately financed greenfield and mini-modular refineries investors have so far indicated interests in the establishment of refineries in the region. At least ten of the licensed refineries investors are at an advanced stage of development.
He noted that the issue of funding was a major challenge to most of the investors, and the primary reason holding further progress of the refinery projects.
The Vice President directed the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to keep providing the necessary support and creating the enabling environment for positive investments in modular refineries by engaging key government agencies.
The agencies include the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, NCDMB, and financial institutions, including the International Finance Corporation, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Bank of Industry, amongst others.