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‘$15b needed to upgrade Africa’s oil refineries

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OIL refineries in Africa will require approximately $15.7 billion to upgrade the existing 36 facilities to produce petroleum products that will conform to planned level of sulphur content, African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA), has said.

  The organisation noted that the amount is what a refinery may need to be upgraded from the Engineering, Procurement and Constructions (EPC) stage, with its AFRI-6 initiative, aimed at reducing sulphur content in fuels to 10 parts per million (ppm) in the coming years.

  Speaking at a workshop organised by ARDA on Upgrading African Refineries to Produce Cleaner Fuels, Executive Secretary of the organisation, Mr. Anibor Kragha revealed that North Africa with 17 refineries would require capital expenditure of $5.955 billion for refineries upgrade.

  According to him, West and Central Africa with 12 refineries would need $6.285 billion, while East and Southern Africa with seven refineries would need $3.415 billion.

  He noted that without urgent steps on adopting uniform fuel specifications across the continent, health and environmental challenges could worsen existing problems on the continent even as the continent’s population projection is expected to grow exponentially.

  While advocating cleaner, harmonised, Pan-African fuels specifications, he stressed that there has been uneven progress in tightening fuel specifications across the continent.

  Disclosing that African Union (AU) and ARDA were collaborating on adoption of AFRI fuels roadmap, Kragha listed new process units required to improve key fuel specifications to include; NapthaHydrotreater (NHdT), Diesel Hydro-desulphurisation (DHDS), Benzene Extraction and Sulphur and Hydrogen Plants.

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