By Foluso Ogunsan, in Ibigwe
The 5,000BOPD Waltersmith Refinery in Ibigwe, has joined the 11,000 BOPD Ogbele Expanded Refinery, also in eastern Nigeria, as two private sector owned functioning refineries in the country.
The Waltersmith Refinery was commissioned by President Buhari on November 24, 2020, speaking virtually to a packed audience including two state governors, a host of traditional rulers, heads of oil and gas regulatory agencies (NNPC, NCDMB), local CEOs of oil majors and independent E&P companies as well as oil service companies.
The latest update from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the industry regulator, cites the 7,000BOPD OPAC refinery in Kwale, in the country’s Midwest, as Nigeria’s likely third functioning, privately run refinery, having just been completed and awaiting commissioning.
Under construction are two others: The 500,000BOPD Dangote refinery is 71% completed, says the DPR‘s report, and the 6,000BOPD Edo Refinery is also far gone. (It is instructive that, in the DPR’s books, the Dangote Refinery is not listed as a 650,000BPD refinery, as widely described in the media, but as a 500,000BPD facility).
Apart from these five, no other refinery is under construction in the country today, despite the widespread perception in the press that a number of refineries are under construction.
The widely publicized Elko Petrochem & Refining Company is not yet under construction, according to the DPR update.
Nor is the Petrolex Oil and Gas refinery, for which an ‘authority to construct’ (ATC), was granted in December 2018.
There are 16 proposed refineries that have been granted authoritisation to construct, but are not in construction stage.