Mele Kyari, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says the country is working on building a condensate refinery towards the goal of self-sufficiency in refined petroleum products.
Speaking on Friday at a virtual conference organised by Atlantic Council, Kyari said the corporation aims to have a total refinery capacity of 200,000 barrels per day.
The GMD explained that the condensate refinery would complement production at the Dangote refinery and ongoing efforts to revive the refineries.
“I know it is a difficult thing to explain why an oil-producing country would become a net importer of petroleum products,” he said.
“The reason is very simple, we couldn’t fix our refineries and that is also very difficult to explain, we started this many years ago. For 20 years, all attempts to get the refineries fixed failed for many reasons.
“There was a strategy problem. We have now changed our strategy. We are fixing our refineries, we don’t have all the cash to put there but we are going to do is to get a partnership with others to put their money as investors and they’ll get their money out of the refinery.
“We are taking steps to bring in a condensate refinery which are just splitter plants, easy to fix and within a maximum of three years, you can have one in place.
“By July, we are sure that we are going to have final investment decision on one of them, we are looking at a total capacity of 200,000 barrels per day, the first one is going to be about 50,000 barrels.
“The implication of these is that within three years, this country would be sufficient in the supply of finished petroleum products after that, we’ll be looking for markets. We know that we can deliver on this.”
Kyari also said President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed readiness to see that the petroleum industry governance bill is passed by the end of 2020.
This readiness, he said, is also present in the two legislative chambers adding that the senate and house of representatives wanted the bill passed by July but the COVID-19 pandemic caused a setback.
As parts of efforts to reform the sector and create a competitive environment, Kyari said there would be a licensing round in 2021 after the PIGB has shown investors the opportunities available in the country.
“I know for sure that there would be a licensing round that will come next year. We are working on our petroleum legislation to make sure that before the end of this year, we have the petroleum legislation in place in such a way that there is visibility around what investors can expect,” he said.
Reacting to misconceptions about the hospital construction embarked on by the NNPC, Kyari said the construction is part of the corporation’s corporate social responsibility projects; not that the NNPC is diversifying into the healthcare sector.