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Egypt’s Alexandria Refinery Gets $250MM Financing for Upgrade

By Ahmed Gafar, Editorial Assistant

Egypt’s state-owned Alexandria Petroleum Company (APC) will receive a quarter of a billion dollars ($250Million) from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD sovereign loan.

The loan is partial financing of the $647Million in water and energy efficiency upgrades at the company’s diesel refinery (Alexander Refinery).

The project will bring operations at the facility in line with European environmental safety standards and reduce emissions, the bank said.

Alexander Refinery, established in 1954, is operated by APC with a crude design capacity of 100,000 BPSD. It typically processes light Western Desert crude oil and heavy Kuwait crude oil. It began life as a small refinery with 250.000 ton/year capacity for satisfying Alexandria city and West Delta area needs from the petroleum products. APC refining capacity increased up to 4.7Million ton/year by executing three crude distillation units No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 in the years 1963, 1968 and 1982 respectively. In 1979, a solvent production complex started in operation under the license of UOP to produce Hexane, Petroleum Ether, and Petroleum solvents. In 1982, the lube oil complex started in operation with design capacity 100.000 ton/year bright stock oil, based on fuel oil feed from Kuwait crude oil origin and in 1983 the vapour recovery unit started operation to produce Stabilized Gasoline and LPG.

Finally, in 1989, the Hexane and Kerosene complex started with annual production capacity of 22.000 ton / year hexane or 18.000 ton / year of treated Kerosene under the license of IFP, while in 1997 the spent oil re-refining unit started in operation with capacity 30.000 ton/year of spent oil and under the license of KTI. Bitumen blending, oxidation and solidification unit started in operation to produce solid bitumen packages in 25 kg blocks.

The EBRD says: “Raising the quality of fuel produced by the refinery will cut down on greenhouse gases, while the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility aims to lower the risk of seawater pollution and a new energy management system will help to reduce fuel consumption”..


Our Archive/Nigeria’s Refining Gap: The Road to Privatisation and Back

OUR ARCHIVE

DATELINE, ABUJA, AUGUST 2007

Calls for a halt to the waste of resources on Nigeria’s state owned refineries go back several decades, as the story below, from our file records of 13 years ago, shows…

In mid July 2007, less than two months after assumption of office, Nigeria’s president Umar Yar’adua ordered that two refineries that had previously been sold to the private sector be returned to state hydrocarbon company NNPC (Nigeria National

Petroleum Corporation). It was an anticlimax to a four-year, controversial privatization process, which ended just in May 2007 with 51% stake in the largest refinery, the 210,000BOPD plant in Port Harcourt, sold to Bluestar Consortium for $561Million. Mr. Yar’dua instructed the NNPC to get the refineries working to at least 70% capacity within twelve months. It was a triumph for the NNPC, which had preferred to be left to run the refineries. But was it a triumph for efficiency? Has Mr. Yar’adua rolled back the painful “gains” of deregulation in the downstream oil and gas sector? As part of our ongoing series on the Refining Gap in Nigeria, senior correspondent EJIKEME OKEKE-AGULU pieces together a six year story, highlighting the see-saw nature of the sale…

In NOVEMBER 2000, GIUS OBASEKI, then Group Managing Director of the NNPC,

gave an overview of the state of the three government owned refineries in the country. He was satisfied with himself. The “Port Harcourt Refinery is running at 75%” he told Yakubu Lawal, energy editor of The Guardian of Nigeria. “I can run Port Harcourt at 100%,” Obaseki said “But professionally, I will be doing myself damage because the cracker- the FCC will not be in place till the middle of next year”.

The country’s refineries have a nameplate capacity of 445,000BOPD; with the Warri Refinery, in the midwestern part of the country, designed for processing 125,000BOPD of crude, the Port Harcourt Refinery, (which is really two in one), located in the east of the country, designed to process 210,000BOPD and the Kaduna Refinery, sited in the north, having an installed capacity of 110,000BOPD.

It was expected, from Mr. Obaseki’s comment then, that Port Harcourt Refinery, by far the largest, would be running 100% by the middle of 2001 though subject to crude availability as the GMD had presumed. This was to be two years into the then new democratic dispensation. Obaseki also told Yakubu Lawal that the Kaduna refinery was “running 60% after a lot of maintenance work”. This performance, he promised, would be tremendously increased, such that by 2001, the Kaduna refinery would “operate at the same level with Port Harcourt”. There was a caveat, however. “Unless we are left to do our work”, Obaseki told Lawal, “we won’t get to where we want to be.”

From the results on the ground, Mr. Obaseki either “wasn’t allowed to do his work”, or the problems were overwhelming.

By 2003, two years after the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries were supposed to be working at full steam, and four clear years into President Obasanjo’s take over of power from the military, the thinking in government had changed from “government can run the refineries” to “let us privatise the refineries”, or so it seemed. Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, didn’t achieve the full delivery of petroleum products they were designed to output. The Bureau of Public Enterprises(BPE), Obasanjo’s privatisation agency, had stepped up to the plate.

“All of the refineries are in need of complete overhauling”, the BPE said. “Bad management and poor maintenance have cut refining output considerably, it lamented.

“The Government has attempted to meet the shortfall by importing gasoline. The domestic shortage of refined products persists, and has led to numerous clashes and accidents” said the BPE and “the most recent incident occurred in Warri, Delta State, where more than 1,000 people lost their lives when a gasoline pipeline exploded and caught fire. Villagers were scavenging for gasoline, which had been in very short supply.” The BPE spelt out a number of options being considered by the Government in reforming the refineries and that included: leasing, privatisation, contract management, and joint venture.

THE PRIVATISATION JOURNEY HAD BEGUN.

On his return for a second term in May 2003, President Olusegun Obasanjo signed off on the privatization of the  three refineries. The Privatisation was to be carried out under the auspices of the National Council of Privatisation (NCP).

Transaction commenced in October 2003 with a 60-day sales study of the refineries by the then advisers, Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), set up to assess the saleability of the facilities and establish potential bottlenecks that may likely impact closure of transactions and recommend appropriate litigants. The advertisements for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from prospective bidders in all the refineries commenced simultaneous with the Sales Study. This sales study was completed in December 2003, though Warri Refinery was not covered due to precarious security situation in Warri and environs at the time.

For the Port Harcourt Refinery (PHRC), a Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) was sent to the final list of Expressions of Interest (EOIs) approved by the Steering Committee, which included the oil majors. The PIM was also distributed to prospective bidders for new oil blocks in the 2005 Licensing Rounds.

A BPE report says that “The unbundling and corporatisation of PHRC as a separate business entity from NNPC was undertaken, with a detailed assessment of environmental impact of the refinery operations and submission of a detailed report indicating the extent of environmental liabilities and the required remediation plan in other to effectively sell off 51% of the government’s stake in PHRC”.

In November 2005, the Bureau issued the final Information Memorandum (TM) and relevant bid documents to the short listed bidders, viz,

Essar Infrastructure of India;

Oando Plc;

Refinee Petroplus; and

Transcorp Plc. The four firms submitted their technical and financial bids at the deadline of December 2, 2005.

But the BPE said the four bidders did not meet the minimum qualification benchmark after evaluation. They were asked to resubmit revised bid by April 24,2006 after pointing out the areas of weakness in the bids, which did not meet up with some, or all such minimum qualifications as;

o Technical expertise in refining will be a prerequisite;

o Credible Investment Plan aimed at critical rehabilitation and expansion of refining capacity; o A Social Plan also key in dealing with over- staffing;

o Evidence of financial resources; and

o Demonstration of managerial ability. As stated by the BPE

Efforts to understand where each of these four bidders failed the test proved abortive as the BPE never replied to the various queries sent to it by this magazine.

The four bidders however submitted revised bids by the deadline of 24 April 2006. Most of the bids were disqualified after the BPE found that technical partner was a member in more than one consortium.

Following multiple membership in bidding consortia by a technical partner, which would have led to disqualification of most of the bidders, the Technical Committee of the NCP directed that a new RFP (Requests for Proposal) be issued to bidders after further clarification on the bidding procedures. The four companies were eventually pre-qualified for the financial bids opening, scheduled for July 2006.

On the order of President Obasanjo, the process was halted and the transaction re-opened to other bidders.

There were reports then that the refinery was being underpriced and the president ordered the refinery to be returned to the NNPC. There was no improvement afterwards and so the advertisements for EOIs were again placed in December2006 with the deadline for submission of EOls was 19 January 2007. Six bids were received by the deadline from the following prospective investors which included; Mittal Investments Ltd; Indorama International Finance Ltd; Global Oil & Energy; Link Global International Ltd; Taleveras Group; and Oil Works Ltd (DFP project Finance Ltd). Following evaluation of the new EOIs, the following consortia, consisting both existing and new bidders, were approved to proceed to the next stage of the transaction: Essar Infrastructure of India, Oando Plc, Refinee Petroplus, Transcorp Plc, Mittal Investments Ltd, Indorama International Finance Ltd, Global Oil & Energy, and Link Global International Ltd. As at then, it was only the Transcorp that still represented her bid.

The Bluestar Consortium was not in the race.

But sequel to the disengagement of CSFB as transaction advisor, the Bureau sent out Terms-of-Reference (TOR) and an invitation letter to three international firms: HSBC, BNP Paribas & Standard Bank of South Africa asking them to submit proposals to act as transaction advisors for the privatisation of both Port Harcourt & Kaduna Refineries. Only BNP Paribas submitted a proposal and was appointed as the new advisor to complete the refineries transaction.

Three bidders (Oando Plc; Refinee Petroplus; and Bluestar Consortium (incorporating Transcorp) submitted their technical and financial proposals and following evaluation of the former, the three were pre-qualified for financial bids opening. The Bluestar Consortium emerged winner with a bid of $561Million for 51% stake in the plant.

FOR THE KADUNA REFINERY, following China National Petroleum Company’s lower bid of about $102Million for the Northern refinery, NPC conducted a detailed due diligence on KRPC between 17 October and 4 November 2006 prior to submission of bid for KRPC. And they submitted their technical and financial proposals. At the bids opening on May 17, 2007, it offered to pay a revised offer price of$ 102 million, which was below the reserve price. Blue Star Oil Services Consortium also took up the challenge of buying into the KPRC with an offer price of $l60Million for 5l % equity; an amount exceeding the $102 million revised offer by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Irene Chigbue, the Director General of the BPE, said that the Bureau’s mandate has never been to sell government’s enterprises for the purpose of generating money for government. “Our greater mandate is to allow the private sector drive the nation’s economy. It is not how much we are getting from these sales that matter, but the overriding desire to see our refineries meet the local need for fuel, thereby saving the country from huge foreign reserves call arising from fuel importation.”

But the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress in their fight against the refinery sale and increase in petroleum pump price that said government failed in their duty at ensuring that it maintains control on utilities that directly affects the ordinary citizen.

David Mark, then newly elected senate president (presiding over the upper legislative house) said “that there might be friction if government sells an enterprise that has social impact and there is no social cushion to alleviate the pains”.

Emman Egbogah, regional director Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Africa region and former Technology adviser to the Malaysian state hydrocarbon company Petronas: argued: “there are certain critical things the government should maintain a tag upon and I think in the case of Nigeria, there are many areas in which the government of course should have some contributions to make so that distribution will be equitable and maintaining a couple of refineries shouldn’t be too much for us”

IT HAS TAKEN FOUR YEARS, starting from the first few months of president obasanjo’s second term to the last weeks of the president’s tenure, to privatise the refineries, and all that has ended in a smoke, with the return of the refinery to the NNPC.

The NNPC had been wary of going full hog with the deregulation process; at some point the Port Harcourt refinery was withdrawn from the bid process. When an audience at a seminar in the course of an SPE conference asked Edmund Ayoola, a just retired Group Executive Director at the corporation, he fired back: “Why are people insisting on buying government owned refineries?” In a veiled reference to the lack of progress of companies licenced to construct refineries, he responded in frustration: “Why won’t people build their own?”.

Even while government kept on saying that NNPC would get out of the downstream business, the corporation continued to build mega filling stations all over the country.

The most immediate reason for the failed sale of Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries has been the face of the winners. Bluestar Consortium consists of Dangote Industries Limited, Zenon Corp and Transcorp, three companies widely perceived to be run by cronies of the former president. “All the documents released by the BPE never at any point mentioned or noted Dangote Industries and Zenon (partners in Blue star) as a partner to any of the Bidders”, according to Labour.

Mr. Dangote had tried to douse the tension arising from the transaction and the obviously connected Transcorp by saying that after refurbishing the refineries, a significant equity would be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange to afford Nigerians opportunity of investing in the national facility. But when the public outrage over the sale heated up, Dangote threw darts at the NNPC. He told the Daily Sun of Lagos, Nigeria that the government corporation received over $700Million, all within the last eight years, to fix the refineries.

“NNPC stinks”, Dangote charged. “The government did not spend $1.1Billion to refurbish the refineries as some papers report. I know that fact. The papers are there. For the last eight years, the government has given NNPC about $700MilIion to refurbish the two refineries—over a period of time. That money wasn’t properly applied. And even after it was applied, the refineries are still not working. They are still not working. They are worth nothing.” While Dangote fingererd the NNPC as a nest of corruption his critics accused him of using government connections to get them out of business.

Figures from NNPC down stream report for the first quarter of 2005, the latest figure obtainable from the Department of Petroleum Resources:

The Kaduna Refinery processed an average of 38,070BOPD of crude oil for the first quarter of 2005 with a shortfall of 71,930B0PD. The Port Harcourt Refinery on the other hand processed an average of 94,453B0PD, showing another deficit of 11 5,547B0PD while the Warri Refinery processed an average of 65,496B0PD and a shortfall of 59,504BOPD. In all the two refineries of Kaduna and Port Harcourt were only able to process 132,523B0PD out of their total installed capacity of 320,000bbls/d. But an American Energy Information Administration report on Nigeria puts her average crude oil consumption for 2006 at 297,000BOPD with a growth in demand of 12.8% annually.

The figures available in the first quarter of 2005 shows that that KRPC and PHRC received a total of 14,733,289Bbls in the first quarter of 2005 and processed about 11,927,082Bbls also in the same period leaving a total of 2,806,2O7Bbls unprocessed. These figures suggest that as at the time, the two refineries were actually working below 40% as at 2005.

Dangote insists that the sale was transparent enough. He told Daily Sun “BNP Paribas, which was also called in by BTE to come and also do evaluation, just a week before we bought the refineries. Both these two, their evaluation was low” both this two refers to Credit Suisse which had also carried out their own evaluation previously. “When we went out to bid, No.1, there was this company Petroplus or whatever consortium a Saharan Energy. Their group came and they bid $300million. But they couldn’t bring even a deposit. They were therefore disqualified. Oando bid $200million. And they were asked to bring half of the money. Instead of $100million, Oando could only bring $80million. So they were also disqualified. We said $200million for the 51 percent and we put down our $1 O0million. So we qualified. And now, we were asked to go back and bid again and come back with a new price”. It is clear then that Dangote was a late entrant and a lucky child of destiny at that or maybe he represented other interests. Oando would not respond to queries by AOGR.

Now that the Bluestar has pulled out of the Refinery deal and requesting a refund of $721m and the NNPC given another 12 months by the consortium of Dangote, Zenon and Transcorp will NNPC really deliver, after years of failing to deliver? Funsho Kupolokun, who took over from Obaseki in 2003 and has run NNPC ever since, is positive.

“Before February 2006, all the three refineries were running and NONE were running on less than 75% of installed capacity. This magazine’s attempt to get specific 2007 figures from NNPC headquarters in Abuja was futile by officials. Mr Kupolokun stressed that the refineries are comatose today because of the vandalised Chanomi creek crude pipeline and that they would recommence production by September 2007 after their repairs. “Then the refineries will be back; they have been tested and proven. Once we get the refineries running, we will keep improving on what we have done”.

Kupolokun told the Nigerian press, in the last week of July: “The refineries wee working by the third and fourth quarters of 2005. Our import level went down to as low as 30 cargoes and all the depots in Nigeria, except Ore, as at that date, were functioning.”  If Mr. Kupolokun is proved wrong, the costs to the struggling economy would be enormous.

This story was originally published in the August 2007 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report monthly..


Siemens Inks 10 Year Service Contract For Egypt’s Largest Ethylene Plant

Siemens Energy has signed a long-term preventive maintenance contract with the Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (ETHYDCO), for its industrial complex in Alexandria, Egypt.

Siemens Energy will provide the manufacturer of petroleum products, with a 10-year service contract covering three Siemens SGT-800 industrial gas turbines, which have been in operation since 2017.

As part of the agreement, Siemens Energy’s Industrial Applications team will deliver the full spectrum of turnkey outage services, spare parts and repairs for the gas turbines, which are an essential component of the company’s production processes.

Siemens says that its preventive maintenance solution “improves the reliability and availability of the gas turbines by extending the duration between maintenance intervals, thus leading to lower operational costs”.

In addition, the company explains, the preventive maintenance will help deliver additional environmental benefits, by reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions.

Currently, the power plant produces 150 megawatts (MW) of electricity to power ETHYDCO’s petrochemical complex in Alexandria, which is the largest in Africa. The collaboration between ETHYDCO and Siemens Energy will allow the technical teams to conduct all preventive checks, while unnecessary downtime is minimized.


We Won’t Cave in to Pressure to Sell Assets, NNPC Insists

Nigeria’s state hydrocarbon company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says it won’t be pressured to hastily sell its non-performing assets, including refineries, storage depots and dilapidated pipelines, just because a vocal, influential section of the public persistently calls for it.

The company is talking to Afreximbank, it says, and it has won the interest of (Russian giant) Lukoil and some Nigerian banks, to raise billions of dollars to revamp the refineries, after which it will settle into partnership with interested parties, to run the plants.

Last week, the NNPC opened bids by interested private investors to repair the pipelines and depots that are serving the refineries. The winning bidders for the extensive repairs of these pipelines would have to finance them independently and operate for a defined period in order to recover their investment costs with throughput tariffs.

“While we are open to creative ways to run the business”, says Meyiwa Eyesan, the corporation’s Group General Manager for Corporate Planning and Strategy, “what is more pertinent to us is that we run it efficiently and guarantee appropriate returns to our stakeholders who are not only our partners but also the 180 Million Nigerians”.

Speaking at a webinar on Long Term Funding of E & P Business in Nigeria- Strategies For Sustainability, organIsed by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) over the weekend, Eyesan recalled the clamour, several years ago, for NNPC to sell its equity in its Joint Ventures with producing companies, in order to pay debts and fund the national treasury. It so happened that the world was going through a low crude oil price cycle at the time, she explained and the NNPC decided it was not a good time to sell. The corporation, instead, sat with its partners and agreed on a strategy to settle over $5Billion cash call arrears which it owed them. “The partners agreed to backstop incremental production to settle the arrears and today, we are over $3Billion settled in the arrears”, Eyesan, an economist by training, told the webinar. “This shows that the financial strategy is working. So, today, I am asking myself now is that questions still relevant,  that NNPC needs to sell down, given the fact that the last clamour for sell down came at a time the corporation was not in a good place (oil prices were crashing) and yet the company found a way out of the debt”.

Eyesan said that NNPC had found a way around the hindrance to the revamp of the refineries. ‘We are now making progress, talking to reputable EPC contractors”.


Ugandan Refinery Timeline Postponed Again

Construction of Uganda’s 60,000Barrels Per Stream Day cannot start until 2025.

The delay comes about as a result of the push of Final Investment Decision on the basin wide upstream oil development project, to 2021 at the earliest.

The refinery project had always been contingent on the certainty of the upstream project.

Even before the announcement that the inability to resolve Tax issues would delay investment decision on Uganda’s large oilfield project, the refinery facility to take advantage of the produced crude had been moved forward.

The upstream project itself involves production of 230,000Barrels of Oil per Day (BOPD) at peak, pumped into a 1,445 kilometre pipeline running from Hoima in Uganda’s west to the Tanzanian port town of Tanga on the coast of the Indian Ocean.

The Joint Venture Partners, TOTAL and CNOOC, had been pressuring the Government of Uganda to commit to channelling all the available crude, once project reaches first oil, to the export pipeline for the first three years, before allocating the refinery share of the crude.

They wanted delay of construction of the government-preferred refinery to 2024.

But now that a global pandemic had imposed its timeline on the main project and pushed it forward by two years, refinery construction cannot start until 2025, at the earliest.

Historically, the Ugandan authorities had preferred to beneficiate as much of the crude as it could take in the country, via a refinery.

This article was initially published in the REFINERY GAS ANNUAL, run in the May, 2020 edition of the monthly Africa Oi+Gas Report.

 


Mammoet Completes Heavy Lifting and Transport Scope for Dangote Refinery

With the final 1,240tonne propylene mounded bullet installed at Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical complex in Nigeria, Mammoet is demobilizing equipment it has deployed there over the past two years. This concludes another successful project completed safely and delivered on time.

Mammoet was contracted to assist in the construction of the refinery in 2018. The scope consisted of receiving, inland transport, on site lifting and installation of hundreds of refinery components. Sourced globally and consisting of multiple shipments, these components were delivered to the purpose-built Dangote Quay Lekki in Lagos. They were then transported to the project site. Prior to installation, the components were stored temporarily on freshly paved Enviro-Mat; which Mammoet describes as its innovative and sustainable solution for native soil improvement, which was deployed to provide the main crane hard stands.

To optimize the construction process and schedule and ensure the highest levels of construction uptime, Mammoet says it has drawn on its diverse fleet of heavy lifting and transport equipment. This has included conventional trailers and trucks, Self-Propelled Modular Trailers (SPMTs), plus mobile and crawler cranes ranging in capacity from 250tonnes to 1,600tonnes.

Mammoet also brought two of its largest super heavy lift ring cranes with lifting capacities up to 5,000tonnes – the PTC 200 DS and PT 50 – to bring maximum efficiencies to the execution of the project. Their lifting capacity, combined with a long reach and a small footprint, enabled more efficient approaches to lifting and installing heavy and oversized components, such as a 3,000tonne regenerator- which Mammoet claims is “the heaviest item ever transported over a public road in Africa” and a 2,000tonne crude column  – the largest crude column in the world.
Throughout the duration of the project Mammoet transported 239 items from the jetty to site, with a combined weight of 84,905tonnes and installed 154 items with a combined weight of 68,415tonnes.

Over 100 Mammoet professionals worked on this project for around two years adhering to the strictest safety standards – ensuring transportation and installation activities were efficiently scheduled and safely executed. Precise planning and thorough coordination were crucial to minimize delays and additional costs, maximizing the project’s efficiency.

During the project, Mammoet and its partner in Nigeria – Northridge Engineering, contributed to the local community by ensuring that the operations created value and opportunities by supporting local employment, training and encouraging local businesses to be part of the supply chain. 54 local employees were crucial to this work, covering a range of skills including SPMT operators, crane riggers and drivers. Mammoet also subcontracted work to 43 Nigerian businesses throughout its two years on site.

Dangote refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone near Lagos, Nigeria. It will be Africa’s biggest petroleum refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility. Once onstream, the refinery will increase the country’s oil exports and reduce its reliance on imports of petroleum products, thereby boosting economic growth in Nigeria and generating thousands of jobs.

 


Brahms To Build A Modular Refinery in Guinea-Conakry

Africa Finance Corporation has signed a Joint Development Agreement with Brahms Oil Refineries Limited to act as co-developer on the development and subsequent financing of a petroleum storage and associated refinery project in Kamsar, Guinea-Conakry.

 This will include a 76Million litre crude oil storage terminal; 114.2Million litre storage terminal for refined products; ancillary support transportation infrastructure, and 12,000 barrels oil per day modular refining facility.

Through this joint development, AFC will invest in the project development workstreams that should ensure the Project reaches financial close in 2020.

Brahms Oil Refineries is a part of Brahms Group, a Switzerland based diversified company with a strong industrial & international finance network and an excellent knowledge of Sub-Saharan Africa.Once operational, the Project will have a refinery capacity that is the equivalent of one-third of the country’s demand for refined products, thereby reducing its reliance on imported refined products, improving the country’s balance of payments, and reducing foreign currency demand. It will also allow for direct & indirect job creation and enhance the development and productivity of other sectors, especially mining, which today accounts for 15.3% of the country’s GDP but could contribute even more if the country had the necessary infrastructure to maximise and locally beneficiate its natural resources. The Project is strategically located in Kamsar, which is one of the larger mining regions in the country.
To increase its impact on Guinea, AFC is considering several projects in the country to create an integrated ecosystem. This would include, alongside this Project, a 33MW solar project port, and other mining projects, all of which will complement AFC’s earlier investment in Alufer’s Bel Air bauxite mine.


NDEP Gets a Licence to Operate the 5,000BOPD Refinery

The Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum has issued a second license to Niger Delta Exploration & Production (NDEP) to Operate a Refinery in Nigeria.

This licence is for a 5,000Barrels Per Stream Day Train.

The first licence to operate (LTO) such a facility issued to the company, awarded in 2012, was for a topping plant to convert 1,000BOPD of crude oil to diesel.

That topping plant has been the only private refinery operating in the country since.

In those eight years, the plant has output over 140Million litres of diesel.

NDEP’s Train 2, which has now just received an LTO is the first expansion.

Although it had been ready since January, the LTO is the government’s formal sign off on it to start doing business. The train produces Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), Jet fuel, more diesel, marine diesel “and there is no Sulphur in it so it meets the international specification of marine diesel already and finally, Heavy Fuel Oil at the bottoms of the distillation column”, says Layiwola Fatona, Managing Director, NDEP.

“This is a phenomenal attainment”, Fatona said in a note to the company staff. “It had been a very long and traumatic journey. It was fraught with challenges, hard decisions and much of Human and Financial Capital expensed by your company”, he explained. “Perhaps, it is humbling to say, this must be the only of its type in Africa. Feeding Crude Oil and gas, produced from a Marginal Field into its own processing and Refining facilities. We still have a long way to go and a 3rd Record Breaking Milestone is just around the corner”.

The company is finalizing the construction of Train 3, which will take the entire refining capacity on the Ogbele asset to 11,000BOPD. That facility has the added responsibility of producing the same set of products that Train 2 produces, as well as including the Premium Motor Spirit(PMS), the fuel of land transportation.

“All Mechanical erections in respect of Train 3 are completed”, Fatona explains. “Electrical and Instrumentation has another week or so to go to total completion and full readiness”, he says. “We are now ready for Pre-Commissioning with start of Technical checks.”

NDEP expects the full ceremonial commissioning when the travel bans are lifted, and the Plant Fabrication Contractors (Chemex) are able to return.

 

 


VFuels wins bid for a Modular Refinery FEED in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, supported by its strategic partner Marathon Oil Corp., has awarded VFuels Oil & Gas Engineering (VFuels) the feasibility study for the construction of a modular refinery in Punta Europa, Malabo.

The study will include the engineering and design of a 5,000Barrels Stream PerDay (BSPD) modular refinery to supply refined products for the country’s domestic consumption. The study is expected to be delivered within 12 weeks of the contract’s signature.

Equatorial Guinea is seeking investments for a modular refinery in the continental region, storage tanks and the promotion of other projects derived from methanol, among others, according to a government statement.

“This is an important step when it comes to implementing this project with an important goal to prevent stock outs, and provide refined products of higher quality to economic operators and the general public,” stated Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “The experience and track record of VFuels in engineering and design of modular refineries at an international level, could be beneficial to this project and Equatorial Guinea.”

The award follows up a meeting in January between President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Mr. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Marathon Oil Chairman, President and CEO Lee Tillman and Executive Vice President Mitch Little, during which Marathon Oil reiterated its commitment to Equatorial Guinea and towards the development of the country’s Gas Mega Hub. Marathon Oil had then declared its support to construct a modular refinery in Punta Europa by undertaking a conceptual study on the Ministry’s behalf.

Both parties had also agreed to immediately commence feasibility studies related to methanol to gasoline and other methanol derivatives, in coordination with the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons.


Equatorial Guinea Shortlists Investors for Refineries, Methanol Plant and Storage Tanks

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) has announced the key companies shortlisted for the execution of its landmark projects under its ongoing Year of Investment.
At Punta Europa, where most of Equatorial Guinea’s gas and energy activities are currently located, the country plans to build a modular refinery, storage tanks and a methanol-to-derivatives plant.

Interested companies for the modular refinery include Marathon Oil, an American independent, Selquimica International with Engineering and Energy, a Spanish-Russian consortium and Rosslyn Energy of Britain.

The latter is also interested in the development of the Storage Tanks, along with British company Orange Resources Worldwide and the China Communications Construction Company.

Finally, the Methanol-to-Derivatives project has attracted the interest of South African company Pan African Energy, Nigerian company Bugabi Group, and Danish catalysis company Haldor Topsoe.

At Kogo South of the nation’s economic capital Bata, the second Modular Refinery project has attracted the interest of Egyptian company Petrojet, British company Rosslyn Energy, the Spanish-Russian consortium of Selquimica International with Engineering and Energy, and UAE-based SDLE International DMCC. Meanwhile, South African company Grindstone Resources and Omani company MSS LLC are both shortlisted for the gold refinery project and the Minerals Industrial Zone.

”While the MMH is still registering interest from additional players, including Chinese companies, these are the shortlisted potential investors for these projects so far”, the Ministry says in a statement.

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