The federal government has said it will provide funding and licences to law-abiding Nigerians who are interested in establishing modular refineries in the country.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, disclosed this yesterday at Eleme, near Port Harcourt while speaking with newsmen shortly after inspecting the ongoing rehabilitation project of the Port Harcourt Refinery.
The minister was accompanied on the inspection tour by the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Senator Magareth Okadigbo and the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari.
He said: “We have already started the modular refinery programme. Last year, Mr. President commissioned a modular refinery in Imo State. There are other modular refineries that are ongoing; there is one in Rivers State.
“The programme is one and we are expecting that people will take advantage of the modular refinery programme.
“But, when people begin to equate modular refineries with what is going on; the criminality that is going on, I think, they don’t go together. The criminality should be taken on its own.
“What is going on in Port Harcourt and some of these areas causing Soot problem is a criminal activity and we cannot legalise that criminal activity. We must stop that illegal activity by law enforcement.
“The process of starting modular refineries has always been on. Anyone law-abiding Nigerian who wants to invest in this business can assess funding and also assess licences from the federal government.”
Sylva gave an assurance that the Port Harcourt Refinery will begin production at 60,000 barrels per day once the rehabilitation project is completed by the first quarter of 2023.
The Minister said: “You can see for yourself that work is ongoing and we are happy with what is going on. This project kicked off in the second quarter of last year and where they are now is quiet impressive.
“It is on schedule. The commitment is to deliver 60,000 barrels per day from this refinery by first quarter of next year. We are on course and we are quiet happy.
“Our technical partners are committed to completing this project on schedule. I have extracted their commitment from the project manager, to complete the project on schedule.
“By first quarter next year, 60,000 barrels of crude will be delivered to Nigerians per day from this refinery.
“Of course, we have enough crude in Nigeria to supply Port Harcourt Refinery and Dangote Refinery. The total capacity of Port Harcourt Refinery is 210,000 barrels while Dangote Refinery is 650,000 barrels. If you add the two together, it is still not up to One million barrels.”