The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has said it was no longer possible for the four ailing refineries belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to return to almost full capacity in 2019 as originally planned.
The minister, who had vowed last year to resign his appointment if Nigeria failed to return to self sufficiency in refining of petroleum products by 2019, said the refineries will now be ready in 2020.
Kachikwu made the disclosure on Monday at the 18th edition of the International HSE Biennial Conference on the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria organised by the Department of Petroleum Resources, in conjunction with other stakeholders in Lagos.
Kachikwu, in a keynote address at the conference, said that 10 out of the over 40 licensed modular refineries had got into serious work, with three likely to come on stream towards the end of next year.
According to him, work was ongoing on the four refineries owned by the NNPC, adding, “Hopefully in the next board meeting next week, we will be able to come to final landing on the commercial terms for those investments. If we do, that brings in the processing of 445,000 barrels of crude.
“Even though I had wanted in my usual bullish nature to get this thing driven so that we can have all the refineries working by end of 2019, obviously it will slip a bit. But what is important that we must begin the process. We are going to deliver those barrels refined by 2020, so be it.”
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