Nigerian topping refinery due 10,000-b/d capacity expansion

Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Ltd. (NDPR), a subsidiary of Niger Delta Exploration & Production PLC (NDEP), has let a contract to Chemex Modular LLC, New Waverly, Tex., to provide equipment and technological services for the planned expansion of its 1,000-b/d topping refinery in Ogbele field in Rivers State, Nigeria, 45 km northwest of Port Harcourt.

Chemex will provide a series of units under the contract, including additional crude distillation units, a naphtha hydrotreater, a naphtha splitter, and a catalytic reforming unit for the production of gasoline, the modular refining and gas processing equipment supplier said.

Due to be commissioned in early 2018, the planned expansion will increase crude processing capacity at the refinery to 11,000 b/d, according to Chemex.

This latest contract follows NDPR’s previous contract award Chemex for design and fabrication of the original Ogbele topping refinery, which upon its 2012 commissioning, became the first—and to date, remains the only—privately held crude processing plant in the country to operate under an official license issued by Nigeria’s federal government.

The proposed expansion comes as part of NDPR’s plan to boost company revenues by expanding its production and sales of diesel, jet fuel, gasoline, and marine diesel to local markets, NDEP said in its latest annual report.

While the Ogbele mini-refinery currently targets production of diesel mostly for internal consumption, NDPR’s operating license allows the company to sell excess volumes into the immediate locality, according to Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources.

Approved in 2015, the refinery’s original plan for expansion included only a 5,000-b/d increase in capacity to be commissioned no later than the end of first-quarter 2018, according to NDEP’s annual report.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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