Rabiu Suleiman, the Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister of Petroleum Resources in charge of Refining and Downstream Infrastructure, says the government will commission two modular refineries in five to six months.
He made the disclosure during a facility inspection of Opac refinery in Kwale, Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta state: “Another one under construction is almost at a similar stage with OPAC so we are looking forward towards commissioning two modular refineries in the next five or six months.”
"We are here to provide support as government and also evaluate what the entrepreneur is doing in alignment with the vision of the government to see how we can encourage local production. Suleiman said the aim of the visit was to evaluate the value of the 7,000 barrel per day capacity refinery and see if it is in sync with the government’s plan of self subsistence.
"We are here to provide support as government and also evaluate what the entrepreneur is doing in alignment with the vision of the government to see how we can encourage local production.
“We are here to see how the 7,000 barrel capacity can support the government from the extra money going into importation of petroleum products and support the investors so that we can be self-sufficient in terms of production.”
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Economic Affairs, Edobor Iyamu, said the OPAC project was a demonstration of the government’s modular refinery promise to the Niger Delta.
He revealed that the refinery will begin pumping diesel and kerosene, before it starts to refine at a capacity of 7,000 barrels per day: “ Sometime ago, we made a promise as a government to the Niger Delta region that we are going to introduce modular refinery for two reasons: As a way of substituting the activities of the illegal refineries and to also increase our local production. What we see here is quite impressive, a lot of work is going on and hopefully before the end of the year, this project would have come on stream and that will be good for our country.
"We are excited as a government, we made the promises. This is again another promise that is about to be kept in terms of completion.”
Daily Post reported that the government awarded 38 licenses to entrepreneurs for the construction of modular refineries; ranging from
50,000 to 250,000 barrels per day, ten of which have gotten permits to begin construction.
These development comes at a time when the U.S is ramping up crude oil production, as a response to what its President- Donald Trump calls artificial pricing by members of OPEC and Non-OPEC members- of which Russia is in the lead.
Reuters reports that Nigerian an Russian crude are facing stiff competition from the U.S markets. The news agency says U.S petroleum output is expected to hit 10.7 million barrels per day this year.