Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga
By Crusoe Osagie
The Federal Government Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with a United States and Nigerian Joint Venture, Vulcan Petroleum Resources Limited and Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve Limited, for the construction of six modular refineries with a combined capacity of 180,000 barrels per day.
The project is estimated to gulp N697.5 billion ($4.5 billion), while two of the refineries are expected to be completed within the next 12 months.
The refineries will be located in areas where there are crude oil pipelines in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
When completed, each modular refinery will refine up to 30,000 barrels of crude oil per day and produce up to five million litres of petrol, diesel kerosene and LPFO.
Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while Vice President/Director, Vulcan Petroleum Resources Limited, Jim Mansfield, and the Chairman, Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve Limited, Mr. Chief Edozie Njoku, singed of behalf of their companies respectively.
Also present, was the former Governor of Anambra state, Chef Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
Speaking during the signing, Aganga said the event represented a major milestone and paradigm shift in the President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s plan towards industrial revolution, job creation and wealth generation.
Aganga said, “This is a historic moment and a big step for us as a country. Apart from power, one of the critical areas which President Goodluck Jonathan has made a priority is to have functional refineries.
“My understanding is that by the time the whole project is completed, the cost is estimated at about $4.5 billion.
“This is the beginning of changing our old paradigm from exporting just raw materials and exporting jobs to Western countries. This is something that we have done as a country for so long time.”
Aganga stressed that the Ministry of Trade and Investment would work together with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and NNPC to ensure the actualisation of the projects.
Mansfield said the investment was a testimony that “Nigeria is a good place to do business.
“The funding for the project will be a non-Nigeria source and is from investors who firmly believe that Nigeria is a good place to do business. We also believe that Nigeria is open for business,” he said.
On his part, Njoku, said that the company would work with its foreign technical partner and the regulatory authorities to ensure the successful completion of the project within the time frame.
“The six refineries will have a combined capacity to refine 180,000 barrels of crude oil in the country and produce up to 30 million litres per day of refined products within 30 months.
“The entire modular refinery complex is built in the United States (US), including all piping and electrical and is test operated to assure that each plant will achieve 100 per cent of its approximately five million litres per day production capacity.
“It will take approximately six months to construct each refinery in the US; one month to test and dismantle the refinery for shipping; one month to commence shipment of the refinery complex to Nigeria; followed by four-five months to re-assemble the refinery in Nigeria and commence full production.
“The modular refinery is far easier to construct and maintain, and it can be constructed at any place and relocated to any site depending on the need.”
Chief Ezeife commended the efforts of the minister in facilitating investment into the country.