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Refineries: PTDF to stop importation of refining catalysts

 The Petroleum Technology Development Fund is working with engineers and researchers to halt the importation of catalysts used in refining crude in Nigerian refineries.

According to the fund’s Executive Secretary, Bello Gusau, the move will address one of the major challenges hindering the effectiveness of the nation’s four refineries.

Gusau, who disclosed this on Wednesday at the 2017/2018 PTDF annual oil and gas research grant competition close-out seminar in Abuja, explained that during a fact-finding visit to the Kaduna refinery along with some industry stakeholders, it was discovered that sourcing catalysts was a major challenge for the facilities.

Catalysts are used in the refining of crude oil as they aid the conversion of petroleum refinery naphtha into high-octane liquid products. A refining catalyst is used to produce a large majority of petroleum products through the refining process.

 Gusau said operators of Nigerian refineries had complained about the high cost of importing refining catalysts and its attendant effects on their overall operations.

He said, “Hitherto, this country has been importing catalysts for refining processes and one of our researchers has developed a Zeolite Catalyst for the purposes of import substitution and using 100 per cent local materials. I’m happy to note that this is one of the issues that we would be tackling here today.”

He said part of the mandate of the PTDF was to help operators in the sector reduce their operating cost through the production of up-to-date research in the industry.

Gusau explained that the research grant competition was aimed at looking at congruent and empirical solutions to the basic challenges and problems of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

He said efforts should be concentrated on domesticating the various researches that were put out in the industry over the years.

The General Manager, Strategic Planning, PTDF, Olajide Adebulehin, said the fund was sponsoring research activities in relevant fields in the oil and gas industry that would be productive and increase production in the petroleum industry.

“We are moving away from academic research and that is why we have assembled all the eminent academics and former professionals in the industry. We have given the grants; they have done a lot of work and they are presenting and closing out the work for this research cycle,” he said.

Adebulehin further stated that for the research grant, the PTDF would spend around N12m for the local aspect per research cycle, adding that this would be for a period of two years.

He said the research endowment, which would last for about five years, would receive between N25m and N50m per cycle.