• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

FG, consortium fail to deliver on six modular refineries

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The injection of 10 million litres of petroleum products into the Nigerian market via modular refineries as earlier promised by the Federal Government may not come into reality, BusinessDay inquiries have found.

The modular refineries to be built by a group – Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve Limited (PRSR) and the Vulcan Capital – were expected to come into operation by mid-2013 with a combined production capacity of 10 million litres of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPFO per day.

Our inquiries reveal that while none of the refineries are in place, a lot of ambiguity surrounds the agreements, the status of the projects, and the integrity of the group.

In a highly celebrated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in July last year between the Federal Government and a supposedly renowned Nigerian and American joint venture – Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve Limited (PRSR) and the Vulcan Capital – 2 out of the 6 proposed modular refineries were supposed to be commissioned in 12 months to ensure that products reach the Nigerian market by mid-next year (2013),” an inquiry into contract documents reveals.

It would be recalled that at the MoU signing ceremony, Olusegun Aganga, minister of trade and investment, representing the Federal Government, said his ministry, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would work together with the group to ensure the projects are realised. He also revealed that funding for the project will come from entirely “non-Nigerian” investors.

“The Ministry of Trade and Investment has not done this alone. We are working in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC. We are working together as a team to ensure that in 12 months time we witness the commissioning of the refineries,” Aganga said.

Edozie Njoku, PRSR chairman, also said that the company would work with its foreign technical partners, Vulcan Capital, and the authorities to ensure successful completion of the projects within the stipulated time-frame.

“As aforementioned, PRSR/Vulcan Group will provide Nigeria with 2 fully operational modular refineries with a combined capacity of 60,000bpd within 12 months producing up to 10 million litres of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPFO per day. Four additional refineries, each with a combined capacity to refine 120,000 bpd will be made operational within 30 months with an additional combined output of 20 million litres of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPFO per day.”

Attempts to receive an update on issues from PRSR have proved abortive as the managing director of the company, Bemi Ogisi, when contacted by phone declined commenting.

BusinessDay visited addresses affiliated to PRSR obtained from both the organisation’s website and a business card of one of its directors. However, the first location in Maitama, Abuja belonged to Alpha Consulting with an office space constituted of just a cluster of chairs and tables, the other location at Wuse 2, Abuja belonged to another consulting firm which, according to the security personnel on the premises, is called System Trade Service.

 

AMETO AKPE, Abuja