WorldStage Newsonline-- The Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday signed a $4.5 billion (about N698 billion) Memorandum of Understanding with a consortium of local and foreign companies for the construction of six modular refineries in the country.
When operational, the refineries will have a combined capacity to refine 180, 000 barrels of crude oil in-country and produce up to 30 million litres per day of refined products within 30 months. Two of the refineries will be completed within the next one year with prospects of adding about 10 million litres to local refining capacity for Petrol, Diesel, Kerosine and Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) products.
At the formal signing of the MOU in Abuja, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, described the deal as one of the direct results of the investment attraction component of the ongoing government’s transformation agenda, adding that the Ministry in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation would provide all the necessary policy framework and technical supports to the Consortium to ensure the actualisation of the projects
The Minister said, “This is a historic moment and a big step for us as a country. Apart from power, one of the critical areas which President Goodluck Jonathan has made a priority is to have functional refineries. My understanding is that by the time the whole project is completed, the cost is estimated at about $4.5bn.
“This is the beginning of changing our old paradigm from exporting just raw materials and exporting jobs to the Western countries. This is something that we have done as a country for so long time. There is no nation that has moved from being a poor nation to a rich one by exporting raw materials without having a vibrant industrial base. That is what we have to change for us to be a rich nation, and that is what of National Industrial Revolution Plan is based on”, he added.
In his remarks at the ceremony, the Chairman of Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve Limited, Chief Edozie Njoku, said that the company would work with its foreign technical partner and the regulatory authorities to ensure the successful completion of the project within the timeframe.
The Vice-President/Director, Vulcan Petroleum Resources Limited, Jim Mansfield, said the investment was a testimony that “Nigeria is a good place to do business”, adding that “the funding for the project will be a non-Nigeria source and is from investors who firmly believe that Nigeria is a good place to do business .We also believe that Nigeria is open for business,” he said.
According to the terms of the MOU, it will take approximately six months to construct each refinery in the USA , one month to test and dismantle the refinery for shipping ; one month to commence shipment of the refinery complex to Nigeria; followed by four-five months to re-assemble the refinery in Nigeria and commence full production.