CBN Lifeline Needed For Modular Refineries – Operators

CBN Lifeline Needed For Modular Refineries – Operators

The kind of intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the Dangote Refinery is currently needed for the completion of modular refineries across the country, the Crude Oil Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria said on Thursday.

CORAN, a registered association of modular and conventional refinery companies in Nigeria, outlined some quick wins to help in the process of getting more local refineries to come onstream, as part of measures to cushion the harsh effect of the removal of subsidy on petrol.

In a statement issued in Abuja by its Secretary, Olusegun Ilori, the association stated that the recommendations would help this administration with the short, mid and long term solutions to the Nigerian energy challenges.

“A critical necessity at this time is for the CBN to create a window of intervention fund such as was given to Dangote to other modular refinery companies to access financial support to complete their projects.

“The problem of guaranteed supply of crude to the refineries with naira payments, guaranteed off-take of the products and removal of bureaucratic bottlenecks from the regulatory bodies are some urgent issues for resolution.

“The present challenge relating to regulatory agencies duplicating licenses and permits, and engaged in conflicting directives, put operators in a confusing state of affairs,” the refineries’ owners stated.

The association said additional measures required to get local refineries running were contained in the white paper of the report of the Committees on Establishment of Modular Refinery Intervention Funding and Technical Committee on Crude Oil Domestic Supply Obligation.

It said the committees were midwifed by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources with the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Central Bank of Nigeria and other stakeholders.

On the deregulation of petrol price, CORAN stated that it would not only save the country huge amount of resources hitherto spent on subsidies, but would also lead to economic growth and revenue expansion through increased local and direct foreign investment.

“The anticipated capacity expansion in the production of local crude refineries of our members will ultimately solve the challenge of domestic petroleum product refining that have bedeviled the country for years,” it stated.

It commended the efforts of all it members and refinery licensees who had braved all odds and continued to make efforts towards bringing their refineries on stream in-spite of harrowing conditions still mitigating against smooth operation.

It lauded the efforts of the Dangote Group on the recent inauguration of its mega refinery at Lekki Free Trade Zone.

“We acknowledge the fact that despite the optimism of the positive impact of the coming on stream in the shortest time-frame of Dangote Refinery, we note that small and medium sized modular refineries are needed and essential to meet the demand of fuel supply and bring about competition necessary for the economy.

“We therefore congratulate modular refining companies, some of whom are our members: and include OPAC Refinery, Duport, Edo Refinery, Walter Smith, and Niger Delta Refinery on the successful completion of their refinery plants and commencement of operations.

“Some of our other members are in different stages of completion and we pray that they come on stream soonest,” the association stated.

Meanwhile, CORAN appealed to labour unions and Nigerians to give the new administration time to sort out the deregulation quagmire which had bedeviled Nigeria for long.