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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.

Angola Approves Nine Proposals for Soyo Refinery

Angola’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Oil has selected nine of the 31 proposals presented for the construction of a refinery in Soyo, a city located in the province of Zaire, at the mouth of the Congo River.

The proposals were submitted in response to the international public tender.

Companies and consortia selected include SDRC, Jiangsu Sinochem Construction, Quantem Consortium, CMEC, AIDA and VSF, Tobaka Investment Group, Atis Nebest – Angola, Satarem, Gemcorp Capital and CPP.

The nine proposals stipulate execution periods ranging from 16 to 40 months.

José Barroso, Secretary of State for Oil, said that all the proposals, with the exception of SDRC, explain what they’d do to construct a refinery with 100,000 barrels of oil per day capacity. But the SDRC proposal provides details for a refinery with 120,000 barrels per day capacity.

Baroso said the proposals will be analysed between March5 and 6, 2020, and the selected candidate will be announced on March 31, 2020.

Construction of the Soyo refinery is part a three-pronged programme to expand refining capacity in Angola. Just as the Soyo Refinery is being finalized, the government is also working on building a 60,000 barrels per day plant in Cabinda, and doing restoration and modernisation of the Luanda refinery, to quadruple its capacity to 200,000BOPD.

Equatorial Guinea’s Hydrocarbons Minister Visits the Waltersmith Refinery

The 5,000BOPD Facility is on schedule for inauguration in May 2020

The leadership of Waltersmith Petroman carried out a site visit of the Watersmith Modular Refinery, under construction in southeastern Nigeria, with Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea as its guest.

Developed by Waltersmith Petroman Oil in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, the modular refinery (5,000BOPD), embodies efforts of Africa’s oil producing countries, outside industrialized South Africa, Egypt and Algeria, to generate local value by refining their own crude at home.

As a rule, African hydrocarbon producers, with the exception of those three countries listed above, import most of their petroleum products. In 2018, Nigeria’s crude oil output was around 500,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD) higher than the output of the closest African rival, Angola, and yet 80% of the petroleum products consumed in the country were imported.

The Waltersmith refinery is on schedule for inauguration in May 2020, at a time when its phase 2 will take Final Investment Decision, to boost refining capacity from 5,000BOPD to 30,000BPD.

The refinery is also a path opener for many Nigerian operators of marginal fields, demonstrating how the exploitation of smaller assets such as Waltersmith’s Ibigwe field can generate value from upstream to downstream and help African nations meet their energy security agenda.

“I am truly impressed by the nature and advancement of this project,” declared Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima during his visit of the site. “I share our industry’s belief that it is high time for Africans to start refining and processing our own crude at home to maximize our energy security, create local jobs and add value to our economies. Creating the right public-private partnerships will be of great benefit to all of countries and business leaders. I salute Waltersmith Petroman for the work they do here.”

-Adapted from a press release by African Energy Chamber, which is backed by the Equatorial Guinea Government.

Oil Refinery is Back on the Agenda in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbon reported signing an MoU on the EG Refinery, which will have a capacity of 20,000 to 30,000BOPD“and will see the country become a refiner and producer of petroleum products”.

The agreement took place in the context of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi in early January 2020.

The Minister, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, held several bilateral meetings and discussions with heads of national oil companies, including PetroVietnam, ministerial counterparts of the Ministry of Energy of the UAE H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei and the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mines of Mauritania, and private stakeholders.

The report didn’t say which of these the Equatorial Guinea delegation signed the MoU for a refinery with.

The idea of a refinery was a No-No for the West African oil producer as recently as 2015, when the country’s oil and gas leaders talked up an Oil Terminal project on Bioko Island. “The terminal will eliminate the need for a local refinery”, Mercedes Eworo Milam, then Director General of Hydrocarbons at the Ministry of Mines, Industry &Energy, told The Oil &Gas Year (TOG). “The problem with a refinery is that it has high operating and maintenance costs and a risk of excess production”. She said that “in -country processing of local crude may also fail to provide sufficient qualities and quantities needed to fulfil the domestic demand for each of the various petroleum products, meaning that imports might still be necessary”.

Jet Fuel, Other Products, Pour Out of Ogbele’s Expanded Refinery

Niger Delta Exploration & Production (NDEP) has commenced production from the new 5,000Barels Per Stream Day Refinery on its Ogbele field, onshore Eastern Nigeria.

“We entered the new year with a flurry of new petroleum products from Ogbele Refinery Train 2. (The new Refinery)”, the company’s management said in a note to its directors.

“All Five (5) streams of Refined Products, including Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) – Jet Fuel are being produced steadily, and currently delivered to their respective storage tanks. These activities had been achieved with the requisite quality for each product”, the note says.

Having attained the required (acceptable) routine quality specifications, as determined by our Internal Laboratory, the company’s management explains, “we have immediately invited SGS – The Global Inspection Company to proceed with obtaining appropriate samples of each of the products, for an Independent analysis and certification of Quality”.

The note adds that “this activity, is expected to subject the quality of all Ogbele refinery Products to International quality checks”.

NDEP had operated a 1,000BSPD topping plant producing Diesel since 2012, but in 2018, it received the regulatory nod to commence construction of the 5,000BSPD Train 2, designed to produce Jet-Fuel, Marine Diesel, High Pour Fuel Oil (HPFO), Naphtha and more Diesel. The management note to directors described DPK (Jet Fuel), as “Ogbele Refinery’s pricy and premium product”.

The Ogbele Train 2 Refinery project was meant to come on stream as far back as July 2019. The company is also constructing a third plant, which will take crude oil input capacity to 11,000BOPD, with gasoline (Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) as one of the products. “The naphtha  from Trains 1, 2 and 3, will be processed further into PMS in Train 3”, the company says.


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