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Bentiu oil refinery to be operational in 8 months: official

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: April 21, 2024

(middle) Unity State governor Nguen Manytuil, Presidential Affairs Minister Joseph Bakosoro (red tie) and NilePet Managing Director Bernard Amour visited Bentiu Oil Refinery. April 20, 2024. (-)

Bentiu Oil Refinery in Unity State will be fully operational in around 8 months to supply local markets with fuel products at a capacity of 10,000 barrels per a day, an official said.

On Saturday, a high-level government delegation visited the state to assess oil production, the ongoing construction of a refinery and the environmental pollution caused by the oil extraction.

The team includes Presidential Affairs Minister Joseph Bakosoro, NilePet Managing Director Eng. Bernard Amour and representatives of the Joint Operating Companies.

They inspected the refinery facilities to evaluate the working conditions and identify any areas that may require improvement or modernization, according to a statement from NilePet.

The office of Unity State governor said the refinery will be upgraded to 10,000 barrels per a day after the national government secured a loan from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), while Minister Bakosoro said the upgrading will take 8 months.

“We have seen the refinery. It needs some rehabilitation. Within 6 to 8 months from today, the refinery will be operational, the road will be constructed and fuel will be abundant in the market,” he said.

Mr. Bakosoro said upgrading the refinery to the desired capacity requires 30 million, but he did not specify which currency unit is the amount.

“It requires some amount of money – about 35 million to complete the refinery so that we have fuel in the local markets and be able to sell to the neighboring countries,” he said.

The head of NilePet Board of Directors added that they also assessed the environmental impact of the refinery’s operations, and stressed compliance with environmental regulations and sustainable practices.

He said the government is aware of environmental pollution caused by oil production and the refinery’s operational expansion, a situation affecting communities living in proximity to the oil field.

In remarks directed to Governor Dr. Nguen Manytuil, he said: “Because of pollution, please you provide clean water yards to the communities to protect them from sicknesses.”

On his part, NilePet Managing Director Eng. Bernard Amuor said increasing the production output of the refinery will significantly alleviate South Sudan’s economic hardships and benefit the local communities.

Amuor stated that the company is working to ensure that the refinery produces different types of fuel including heavy diesel, diesel and asphalt.

“Refinery is one of our top priorities for 2024. I brought this delegation to have a first-hand look into what we have and what we need to build on, and how to address the current economic challenges,” he said.

He said the Sudan conflict has proven very alarming to South Sudan’s economy, adding that the government is exploring alternative means of maintaining the extraction and export of its oil.

“Refinery would be one of the solutions for us to have a strong economy. The crisis in Sudan is also very alarming for us in terms of exports so we are trying to refocus all our energy to make sure that we realize the refinery.”

 

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