$30 billion fuels import cost present energy security challenges

Industry partners, yesterday, communicated worries over the territory of Nigeria’s oil downstream and of other African nations despite arising worldwide issues.

With over $30 billion yearly import of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) into Nigeria alone, the partners demanded that ecological and wellbeing difficulties of imported oil based commodities, conclusion of treatment facilities over the world, strategic difficulties, import of trade-in vehicles, and other arising issues could twofold existing difficulties in the nation.

They contended that these advancements can spike energy security issues in the midst of developing destitution, helpless limit use of existing treatment facilities, and low venture craving for petroleum product related tasks.

The specialists talked at an online course facilitated by the University of Port Harcourt, related to the Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE), as a component of the exercises denoting the fifth International Conference on Gas, Refining, and Petrochemicals.

The keynote speaker, who is the Executive Secretary, African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARA), Anibor Kragha, speaking on “Getting the Petroleum Refineries Back on Stream: Sustainability and Socio-Economic Considerations,” said populations explosion will force Africa to target sustainable financing options to build refineries and transport infrastructure.

Kragha disclosed that investors were getting worried about investing in the capital-intensive fossil fuel industry, which requires high operational & HSEQ performance amid volatile, internationally impacted margins, high regulatory and country risk, and potential conflicts with global climate change policies.

He insisted that Africa needs a unique sustainable financing and energy transition to produce and distribute cleaner fuels in line with global standards, a safe, secure, economic, and efficient petroleum supply chain as well as concerted efforts towards global climate change policies for alternative fuels.

He said Africa has no option than to reduce Sulphur in petroleum products to 10 parts per million (ppm) as well as a greater vehicle control system to phase out abandoned vehicles.

To him, efficient, safe, sustainable and economic refinery operations will provide significant positive, multiplier socio-economic benefits to Nigeria and other countries.

Kragha added that rigorous analysis of investments, risks and socio-economic benefits remained essential to attract financing for African refinery and downstream projects, adding that government support, particularly fiscal and regulatory certainty, is required to attract requisite brownfield and greenfield refinery investments

“African countries must follow natural supply chains to promote regional investments and harmonize product quality as well as tariffs to encourage free trade,” he said.

The Conference Chairman, Tony Ogbuigwe, said peak oil would be sooner than expected, stressing that prevailing challenges have changed the industry’s outlook, especially demand for oil.

Apart from the challenges posed by COVID-19, emerging issues such as climate change, electric vehicles and other actions have created disturbing situations leading to the closure of refineries across the world.

He said it remained pitiable that Nigeria spends as much as $30 billion yearly in importing petroleum products in the face of low utilisation of refineries.

He insisted that Nigeria and other Africa countries must build new refineries and ramp up utilization or risk energy security issues.

Peddling a powerful refining and petrochemical area, Ogbuigwe said Nigeria needs to deliver the capability of existing processing plants by embracing an Independent Joint Venture (IJV) model.

He encouraged the public authority to strip 51 percent value or a greater amount of its current stake to private area center speculators, as proposed in the current PIB.

To address ‘filthy fuel’ issues in the area, he urged private financial specialists to put resources into hydrodesulphurization to meet surviving guidelines, and empower the item to be sold over the locale.

In his introduction, the Chief Host and Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Stephen Okodudu, said while Nigeria is a main maker, it stayed pitiful that it keeps on bringing in refined items.

Focusing on the need to change the story, he charged partners to do all that conceivable to guarantee that the nation gets independent in refined oil based commodities.

Okodudu said giving its elements; the college is doing all that conceivable to fabricate limit in the downstream area through a progression of projects.

Public President, Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers, Onochie Anyaoku, said the nation needs to look at and start noteworthy answers for reposition the oil and gas esteem chain.

As far as he might be concerned, the open door in the area is quick shutting as an interest in non-renewable energy sources is evaporating.

He said the standpoint for energy interest and blend obviously demonstrates that Nigeria has, best case scenario, a 10-year speculation window to saddle assets in the area or in any case stay immature, and required an outline to defy the public authority and different policymakers to act quick in outfitting the area’s latent capacity.

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