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Having studied the body language of federal lawmakers in delaying possible approval for the release of about $1.8bn, originally calculated as the total sum needed for the fixing of all four national refineries’, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has turned to deep pocket industry investors for funding.
The lawmakers had queried the impacts of previous approvals made for the same purpose and wondered the possibility of getting it right if the huge fund is appropriated again.
NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer of Refineries and Petrochemicals, Anibor Kragha, told our correspondent that the Corporation is in the final stages of talks with consortiums including top traders, energy majors and oil services companies to raise fund towards revamping the long-neglected oil refineries.
While stressing that the new effort would on delivery reduce reliance on imported fuel, Kragha averred that “We believe that by the second quarter of this year, we will start the ball rolling on the refurbishment and rehabilitation exercise. This will run to the end of next year”.
“We are working with consortia right now; negotiating terms, trying to finalise the time sheets so that we can access the money, through the end of 2019 when we believe we will have the minimum 90 percent capacity utilization in place,” Kragha told delegates at the African Refiners Association Conference in Cape Town.
It would be recalled that NNPC has four oil refineries with a total capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (bpd), but they struggle to run anywhere near that level due to years of neglect.
Latest reports published by the Corporation showed that the highest capacity utilization last year was just under 37 percent, and it fell as low as 5.92 percent in November.