The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke disclosed that Nigeria and other African countries will continue to import petroleum products in spite of of the availability of functional and quasi-functional refineries, and plans of building more refineries on the continent.
Despite the possibility of building new refineries in Africa, including new projects in Angola (Sonaref refinery); Uganda (Uganda oil refinery); Mozambique (Nacala refinery); and Nigeria, among others, Africa will still remain a net importer of petroleum products for at least the next 20 years, she said this during the eight edition of the Oil, Trading and Logistics Expo held in Lagos recently.
The minister disclosed that Nigeria was already on the course of adding more capacity by 2020 through the proposed private refineries by the Dangote Group and Orient, Bayelsa, Lagos, and Kogi states, among others.
Represented by the Deputy Director, Gas, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Oliver Okparaojiakor, Alison-Madueke said there are only 24 fuel refineries within the region, with a total refining capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day for a population that is close to a billion saying population growth means more energy consumption.
Nevertheless, the uncompetitive and incompetent nature of many of these refineries, coupled with the complexity in funding major upgrades, or new capacity, seems likely to keep the average utilisation at a low level in the short term.
“The implication of population growth for Africa is that demand for petroleum products will continue to be on the rise without commensurate refining capacity addition. There is an urgent need to encourage investors to partner with national oil companies or privately to build more refineries, and for us to be less dependent on imports.”