The Nigerian government on Monday July 2, 2012 in the capital, Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a United States and local company for the construction of six modular refineries with combined capacity of 180,000 barrels per day. The MOU concerns Vulcan Petroleum Resources Limited of the US and Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve Limited, a Nigerian firm.
The Guardian newspaper of Nigeria quoted the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga who signed for government as saying two of the refineries will be completed within the next 12 months. The Minister said the move was part of the National Industrial Revolution Plan aimed at cutting exports of raw materials by promoting the processing of finished goods to add value to the economy.
Justifying the involvement of the private sector in the economy, Aganga remarked that the Eleme Petrochemical plant in Rivers State was now 30 times more productive under private management than when it was controlled by government. He pointed out that no poor nation has ever become rich by exporting raw materials without a vibrant industrial base. Olusegun Aganga said this was the raison d'être of the National Industrial Revolution Plan.
Thisday newspaper reported that the refineries will be located in areas where there are crude oil pipelines; all in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Each modular refinery will refine up to 30,000 barrels of crude oil per day and produce up to five million litres of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPFO.
The entire modular refinery complex, it was explained, will be built in the US, including all piping and electrical installations. They will be tested to ensure that each plant operates at 100 per cent capacity upon completion. It will take approximately six months to construct each refinery, one month to test and dismantle for shipping.
Upon arrival in Nigeria, it will take between four and five months to re-assemble the refinery for full production to commence. The modular refinery is said to be easier to construct and maintain, and can be constructed anywhere before being moved to its permanent site.