BusinessDay

African Refinery plans refining project to boost petroleum products

The management of African Refineries Port Harcourt Limited (ARPHL) says it has perfected plans to start construction work on its Greenfield Refinery co-location project in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The 100,000bpd capacity refinery, the management said, would process Nigerian crude oil and produce Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Jet A-1, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), and Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO).

Within the energy circles, this is considered a positive development as it will help to assuage the pains Nigerians go through sourcing their energy needs for both commercial and domestic needs.

ARPHL revealed in a statement that the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contractor for the project is Messrs Tecnimont SpA, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont Group, which is a global oil & gas refining, chemical & petrochemical, fertilizers and power EPC company.

“The FEED contract is the first step towards implementing a plant for processing up to 100,000 barrels per day of crude oil and, for the first time in Nigeria, contribute to the world decarbonization targets, by implanting, in parallel, a prototype plant utilizing green technologies,” Omotayo Adebajo, ARPHL’s CEO, explained.

He explained further those green technologies were used for the production of sustainable aviation fuel or Biojet from waste such as agricultural waste, animal fats, used cooking oil, adding that the plant would be developed at the existing Port Harcourt Refinery Battery Limit and due to be operational in 2025.

Read also: Over 90% of refineries in Africa require $15.7b upgrade; Experts

Adebajo hoped that the project would employ, at least, 15,000 Nigerians during construction and another 2,000 post-construction, aligning with the local content regulations beneficial to the Nigerian people and the Nigerian economy in general.

“Under the terms of our agreement with NNPC, ARPHL will be solely responsible for private sector-led efficient and sustainable management, operations, and maintenance of the refinery upon completion.

“This marks another major step towards fulfilling Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s promise and commitment to support and boost domestic refining capacity required for Nigeria to become a net exporter of petroleum products,” he said.

In line with the federal government’s strategic plan, the NNPC in 2016 advertised a ‘Request for Proposal’ in all major newspapers, seeking bids for private investors to invest in the co-locating of crude oil refineries within its existing refinery sites in Kaduna, Port-Harcourt and Warri, towards increasing Nigeria’s national refining capacity from 445,000BPD to 695,000BPD in the shortest time possible.

By a transparent bid process conducted by NNPC in line with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) guidelines, ARPHL emerged the co-location partner to run and operate a 100,000 BPD refinery on 45 hectares of vacant land within the battery limit of the Port Harcourt Refinery Complex (PHRC) in Alesa-Eleme, Rivers State.

In response to the new business reality, post-Covid-19, ARPHL and NNPC reviewed the original plan to relocate a brownfield crude oil refinery and will now construct a 100,000 bpd Greenfield Refinery to be installed adjacent to the existing 210,000 bpd Port Harcourt Refinery Complex.

The project is scheduled to be completed within three years.

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