No fewer than 100 modular re-fineries should be operational by 2020, if the Federal Government wants to improve fuel supply and stop scarcity of the product, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited Chairman Capt Emmanuel Ihenacho has said.
He said the government was moving in this direction by approving some modular refineries. He urged government to approve more for investors to boost fuel supply.
Modular refineries despite their lower capacity, he said, can complement the production of bigger and traditional refineries, if the the government gives them the desired attention.
Ihenacho said modular refineries refine between 10,000 barrels and 100,000 barrels of crude, adding that for the country to be proud of refining 400,000 barrels, it must have 40 such refineries in place.
He told The Nation, that Nigeria could have between 40 to 50 modular refineries in the next few years if urgent attention was given to the matter.
He said daily, Nigerians consumed about 48 million litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) as against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) estimate that the country consumed 39 million litres per day,
“If the country will be self-sufficient in fuel supply, more modular refineries must come on stream to compliment the production from the state-owned refineries and the Dangote Refinery that is expected to come on stream by 2019. If Dangote Refinery comes with a nameplate capacity in excess of 600,000 barrels and the government-owned refineries are operating at full capacity, in addition with the output from the modular refineries, Nigeria can become self-sufficient.
According to him, the country’s yearly fuel import stands at 17.8 billion litres while consumption stands at 19.3 billion. “From all indications, we are yet to meet fuel needs despite billions of naira being spent on importation of fuel into the country. The huge foreign exchange that is being taken outside the country yearly under the guise of importation of fuel, will do a lot of things for the country if it is domiciled in Nigeria,” he added.
He urged the government to provide an enabling environment by assisting modular refinery operators with funds as well as reduction in taxes. He added that by so doing, licensed operators yet to start refining crude would be gingered to do something.
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