Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, says the modular refineries under construction in the oil-producing Niger Delta region of the country will halt illegal refining and save the environment.

Kachikwu who said this while addressing correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday, however, pointed out that the small refineries will not lead to the country’s dependence on fuel importation.

According to him, Nigeria’s dependence on fuel importation would only become history when the four national refineries are brought to full production capacity by 2019, in addition to the Dangote Refinery in Lagos and the proposed Nigeria/Niger joint refinery and a private refinery under construction.

Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu

Modular refineries can refine between 300 to 30,000 barrels of oil per day. But the cost can be inhibitive.

A 10,000-barrel per day refinery can cost up to $20 million dollars.

The Nigerian government gave 65 licenses for modular refinery construction in 2015.

Kachikwu had also promised that Nigeria will build the modular refineries during a chat with investors in Houston in May of 2017.

Analysts said construction of 600 refineries across the country at two million dollars per refinery could open up the restrictive downstream sector of the country to increased market participation.

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