Strong indications emerged Monday that all is set for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to sign agreements on funding and contractual agreement with third-party financiers and contractors for the revamp of all moribund national refineries next week.
The combined capacity of refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt is put at 445,000 barrel per day (bpd).
Business Hilights recalls that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachukwu, had last week during a visit of Saudi Arabian Energy Minister and his team that Federal Government is close to sealing a deal with the country in the revival of the bellow capacities refineries.
Besides, before the visit of the Energy Minister, Dr Kachukwu had been trailing Eni Group of Italy for a deal to reposition the refineries without consummating the understanding.
However, with the latest twist revealed by the NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mallam Bello Rabiu, that government had to engage an external consultant to review the status of the refineries to enable it negotiate good deals for the agreements, Saudi Arabia is out of the deal.
Rabiu averred that NNPC has identified the relevant people it would work with; including the Original Refineries Builders (ORBs) and that the deal would be sealed next week.
“The process is almost done and we are hoping that next week, we should be in a position to have signed all the requisite agreements and be able to charter people to move in and begin work next year,” he said.
Business Hilights recalls that the challenge of sourcing for contractor-financiers for the refineries came up when the National Assembly earlier in the year, turned down proposal by NNPC for the approval of $1.8bn for the resuscitation all national refineries.
The rejection forced NNPC to think out of the box and come up with contractor-financier arrangement which experts say remains so much clouded in secrecy as Nigerians are yet to be told the real terms of the deal to avoid selling the national assets through the back door after all.