Director, Centre of Gas, Refining and Petrochemicals, Institute of Petroleum Resources, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Godwin Igwe has argued that the cost of importing petroleum products for 30 days is capable of building up to 15 modular refineries in the country, even as he appealed to the Federal Government to gain from the technology of these illegal refineries instead of destroying them.
The university scholar made this statement at the African Modular Refinery Seminar in Lagos.
Prof. Igwe said modular refineries will diversify the Nigerian economy, with its security implications for the country.
According to Igwe, “Modular refineries are required right now. Cost of importing fuel in 30 days is enough to build 10-15 modular crude refineries. The Government should therefore set up a guiding policy document (law) to enable entrepreneurs to develop the country.” As regards illegal refineries, Igwe said:
“We can train and turn the ‘illegal refineries’ to ‘legal refineries. The ‘illegals’ already have the necessary raw production skills. We just need to provide guidance and training. The knowledge gap in distillation processes will be provided on appropriate standards, specifications, and catalysis.”
The university don listed the benefits of establishing 15 modular refineries to include:
- Production of a combined volume of over 1,000,000 liters per day of petrol, diesel, aviation kero, kerosine, naphtha, and other petrochemical products.
Creation of over one million jobs for Nigerian youths Creation of over 1000 spin off medium and small businesses, such as shipping, engineering, construction, logistics, fabrication, and many more.
Training of over 120,000 Nigerians and community indigenes Provision of food and shelter for over 5 million Nigerians Rejuvenation of our national economy with another “oil boom era” and chance to export excess fuel produced by the refineries and earn forex from fuel export.
Regeneration of various key socio-economic sectors that can sustainably raise the Nigerian GDP Oil communities can be transformed into an oil capital of Nigeria and Africa by forming oil community cooperatives and making them key stakeholders as joint venture partners in the ownership and operation of these modular refineries.
According to Igwe, the idea of modular refineries at strategic locations of the country will increase internally generated revenue and reduce fuel scarcity.
“The role of Federal and State Governments is to create enabling environment for all, including foreign, local investors, and the oil rich community cooperatives.