BUA, 27 Others Issued Active Refinery Licences – DPR

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BUA, 27 Others Issued Active Refinery Licences – DPR
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has said that it has granted refining licences to 28 investors, including BUA Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited.

The clarification was issued following a report by Punch on Tuesday that 32 refinery project licences given to private investors in the country had become invalid within the last three years. The investors were missing in the updated list of licences as of March 2021 as obtained from DPR.

In a new list as of April 2021 published on the DPR website on Tuesday, the agency said 28 licences were active while 29 were inactive.

Among the refineries with active Licence to Establish are BUA Refinery & Petrochemicals, Ogini Refinery Limited, Excel Exploration & Production, Lowrie Refinery Limited, NPDC/ND WESTERN OML 34 JV, Ogini Refinery, Eghudu Refinery and Kingdom Global Trading Petroleum & Gas Nig.

The 20 refineries with active Approval to Construct/Relocate include Dangote Oil Refinery Company, OPAC Refineries, Waltersmith Refining & Petrochemical Company, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, Edo Petrochemical Refinery, Etopo Energy Plc, Resource Petroleum & Petrochemicals International Incorporated, Duport Midstream and Conodit Refinery Nigeria.

Others are Lowrie Refinery, Excel Refinery, Gasoline Associates International, Frao Oil Nigeria, Alexis Refinery, Allegiance Energy and Power, Atlantic International Refineries and Petrochemical, Amakpe International Refinery Inc, Gazingstock Petroleum Company, Azikel Petroleum, and Clairgold Oil & Gas Engineering.

In an interview with Punch, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, a former Minister of Interior, said investors that have been granted licences to build refineries in the country need ample time to do so.

Iheanacho, who is the chairman of Eko Petrochem and Refining Company, said it was wrong to assume that a refinery could be built in two years in the country.

He expressed the willingness of his company to build a 20,000-barrels-per-day modular refinery in Lagos.

In 2017, Eko Petrochem and Refining announced the signing of a grant of $797,343 by the United States Trade and Development Agency for the project.

Iheanacho said, “Have you ever seen anybody who has built a refinery in two years? The assumption that people can build a refinery in two years is wrong. If we give you a licence, we must allow sufficient time for you.

“What is in it if you give somebody a licence and you then put a time frame? What you should do is to give a licence, if the investor succeeds, we clap. If not, we say, “Oh, next time.” But to say that we have given you a licence, and then later say, “We have taken it back.” What are you taking it back for? There is no need to cancel anybody’s licence.”

The ex-minister said his company had been on its refinery project for four years, adding, “At no time have we stopped. We have continued; we have done the front-end engineering. We have done detailed engineering.

“The American government has come to our aid and given us money. We have hired the very best professionals to find funds for us. So, we are really at a point when we are going to funding.”

Iheanacho said the company would revalidate its licence. “We have been discussing it. That is a non-issue. So, we are doing everything necessary,” he added.

According to the DPR in a statement by the Head of Public Affairs, Mr Paul Osu, on Tuesday, companies whose refinery project licences had become inactive could reapply for revalidation.

Osu said, “We wish to clarify that DPR did not revoke any refinery licence. Refinery licence, like our other regulatory instruments, have validity periods for investors to attain certain milestones.

“This implies that after the validity period for the particular milestone, the licence becomes inactive until the company reapplies for revalidation to migrate to another milestone. This does not in any way translate to revocation of licence of the company.”

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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