Uche Usim, Abuja
Nigerians may bid fuel scarcity farewell if the Federal Government’s plan to build two 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) condensate refineries comes to fruition.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, made the disclosure at the weekend while accompanying the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, to inspect the ongoing works at Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical plant in Lagos.
According to him, the 200,000 bpd condensate refineries were government’s efforts to boost in-country refining capacity and to put an end to the country’s fuel scarcity problems.
He said that upon completion the condensate refineries, coupled with the 445,000 bpd capacity of the existing refineries which are being refurbished and the 650,000 bpd Dangote Refinery, would transform Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products.
He explained that these complementary efforts by the NNPC and the Dangote Group would guarantee Nigeria’s energy security.
Kyari reiterated that the national oil company was not in contest for market share with the Dangote Refinery, but rather would provide support to the project to boost in-country refining capacity.
“Our objective is to make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products, and you can only achieve that by complementing each other, both the public and the private sector. We are going to do more and we actually need more of these private sector refineries for Nigeria to become a net exporter of gasoline and other associated products,” Kyari said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, pledged to support the 650,000 bpd Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals Plant with crude oil feedstock and other necessary inputs to ensure that the project succeeds.
Sylva added that the refinery will attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria upon completion, adding that the plant was a symbol of the Nigerian success story.
The Minister said it was necessary to support the Dangote Refinery project to ensure its successful completion in order to realise the Federal Government’s aspiration of reversing the ugly trend of fuel importation.
“The Dangote Refinery is a very impressive project done by a Nigerian for Nigeria,” the Minister noted.
Speaking in a similar vein, the President of the Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote, who was on ground to receive the Federal Government team, said his group opted for the biggest refinery in the world because of his firm belief in the Nigeria project.