West Africa needs larger refinery capacity to meet market demand: expert
The West African sub-region needs at least a 2 million barrels per day capacity petroleum refinery to meet market demand for finished products in the short term, said an expert on Friday.
Speaking to Xinhua at the three-day Ghana International Petroleum Conference, Alex Mould, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), reiterated the need for the governments in the sub-region to create the enabling environment to allow for bold investments in refineries to serve the needs of the market.
“We should be looking at something like 2 million barrels a day minimum refinery capacity and if West Africa becomes a production excellence base we should be able to expand that refinery,” Mould said.
The way to do that, the expert said was to attract investors who were in the refinery business and who were in the business of logistics, storage, transportation and also bring the financial institutions which understood the industry and had the capacity to invest in it.
The conference organized by the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) in partnership with the NPA and the Ministry of Energy was aimed at gathering thoughts on how Ghana could realize the dream of becoming a sub-regional petroleum hub.
Mould described the conference as timely since it created the opportunity to discuss and address some of the pertinent issues within the sector.
“West Africa has the demand. There are over 100 ships that sail into West Africa on monthly basis with finished products. We produce huge volumes of crude. Yet, we do not have any real refinery capacity, so there is a real demand for petroleum products,” he said.