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Using contractor-financing model, NNPC set to name refineries’ renewal bid winners

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has given fresh indications that strong arrangements are in top gear to meet the national target of ending fuel import come 2019.

Speaking as a special guest of honour at the Offshore Technology Conference 2018 Nigeria Oil Industry Award Dinner in Houston, Texas, United States, the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru said within months, Nigeria will migrate from being not only a net exporter of crude oil but also a net exporter of petroleum products including fuel.

According to him, this will  be possible because of two strategic plans of the government which include overhauling all state owned refineries to perform at 90 per cent capacity utilisation before the 2019 deadline and fast-tracking the licensing of investors in modular refineries.

He revealed that already, the corporation and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources were collaborating to encourage the establishment of modular refineries in the Niger Delta area to encourage job creation and increase local supplies of products.

NNPC boss averred that “so far, about 35 expressions of interest for the establishment of modular refineries had been declared and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had issued licenses to 13 of them”.

On the moribund refineries, he revealed that tendering exercises for companies interested in the rehabilitation programmes of the nation’s four refineries using a contractor-financing model had been completed and successful companies for the different projects would soon be announced.

Baru noted that “This model is expected to be a self-sustaining financial model with near zero reliance on the federal government funds. For smooth running and implementation, we are also changing the operating and commercial framework of the refineries to make them work efficiently and be commercially viable”.

Business Hilights recalls that Nigeria had remained the sixth world largest oil producers that import refined crude to meet local demands due to failure in the government management of refineries.

Only recently, the Corporation opened up that estimated under recovery from premium motor spirit or petrol alone stood at over N1.4 trillion as of last month even though the National Assembly has queried it to furnish it with where it sourced the money as there is no such appropriation in the prevailing 2017 national budget after all.