By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
Nigeria’s refining capacity is said to be currently insufficient to meet domestic demand forcing the country to import Petroleum products.
The Chief Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Kaduna Polytechnic, Engineer Ezekiel Adebayo stated this during his paper presentation tattled: “Impact of modular refineries on petroleum products availability price stabilization in Nigeria” at the meeting of the Nigerian Society of Engineers-NSE, Kaduna State Branch Thursday.
According to him, it is estimated that demand and consumption of petroleum in Nigeria grows at a rate of 12.8% annually, saying due to shortage of fuel products in the county, the Engineers are requesting that Nigerian should go for Modular refinery.
He maintained that modular refinery has been identified as a means of solving the problem of petroleum product shortages and the illegal refineries that are polluting the environment and then make available quality petroleum products not the adulterated type.
The Chief Lecturer noted that “We have conventional refinery for decade and it has not solve the nation’s problem despite the huge amount of money spent by government over the years on turnaround maintenance, the functional states of the refineries remain seriously impaired while poor management and a lack of regular maintenance contribute to the current operating capacity of around 214,000 barrel”.
Engineer Adebayo continue to say that “the money required to build one regular fully integrated refinery can build 50 to 60 modular refineries which is more advantageous, adding that a lot of money being spent presently is to argument the importation of petroleum product which are in foreign exchange so if the money is used appropriately, it will fund so many modular refineries”.
He informed that the impacts of modular refineries in Nigeria include availability of products, boost domestic consumption, reduction on maintenance bills, cost-benefit analysis, socio-economic benefits which would help in creating jobs for people and vandalism of oil pipelines will reduce drastically.
The Chief Lecturer also said the Modular refineries in Nigeria will increase local refining capacity, sustain steady supply and reduce the importation of petroleum products into the country, adding that the pressure on our foreign reserves will be drastically reduced, while the value of the Naira will ultimately receive a huge boost.
According to him, the idea of modular refineries is increasingly becoming popular in Africa as some other African countries have already set up smaller refineries to complement the regular or conventional ones such as Senegal-27,000 bpd, Cameroon-42,600 bpd, Congo-21,000 bpd, Niger Republic-20,000 bpd, Chad – 20,000 bpd, Zambia-34,000 bpd and Gabon-25,000 bpd.
The Chief Lecturer advised the Government to be very serious and determine to finance and grantee the bank loans that will be required for modular refinery that will create an enabling environment not that of militancy approach but a dialogue approach to the people that are operating the illegal refineries.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers-NSE, Engineer Nasiru Umar Chawai who represented its Chairman, Engineer Dr. Abdul-Raheed Babalola said issue of petroleum shortage in the country is not technical but lack of political will by the Federal Government to do the needful in solving the problem.
He noted that the paper presentation however inform to see how government will come in and patronized the indigenous engineers so that they can see how to solve the problem locally rather than bringing in an outsider to do so, saying even if the government go for the modular refinery without revolving the professionals, we are still back to the statuesque as they have technical know-how but the political will and government policies is lacking.
In her contribution, a member of the Society, Mrs. Hadiza Ajoge lamented how the Engineering profession has become men dominated but the women are striving to catch up with the men counterpart, saying it has not been easy but with self-will and focus they can do what the men are doing.
She said agreed that the establishment of modular refinery is a welcome idea in the face of the present economy and with technology trend modular refinery will go a long way in solving availability of petroleum products, take care of environment that has been polluted leading to land degradation.
It has said that Nigeria ranked 12th largest oil producer in the world and holds over 35 billion barrel of proven crude oil reserves and acreages crude oil production output stood at 2 million barrels per day.
The current estimated nation wild petrol consumption is reported to be 33 million liters daily of which well over 80% of it is imported.
Nigeria has four moribund oil refineries with combine installed capacity to refine 445 bb/d of crude oil and over the years, these refineries have persistently been operated at below 35% of their installed capacity efficient.
However, Kaduna Refinery has 110 bb/d crude refine capacity rarely operate at above 30% efficiency of its installed capacity.