The General Manager of Greenfield Refineries, Mr. Adebayo Ibirogba,said a 13-man Chinese delegation is due in Nigeria on July 5, for talks about the refinery with a proposed capacity to process 300,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).
“Although the talks have been exploratory for now, we’re positive that a deal can be signed after further discussions with the Chinese who will be in the country by Monday,” Ibirogba said in an interview.
Nigeria and China in May, agreed to $23 billion of funding to build three new oil refineries and a petrochemical complex in the West African nation. The construction of the facilities is aimed at helping Nigeria produce the estimated 750,000 barrels of oil per day needed over the next decade to curb imports of refined petroleum products.
However, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engineer Austin Oniwon, during a reception to honour him and two other Ebira sons in Abuja on Friday, confirmed that the proposed refineries would be built in Lagos, Kogi and Bayelsa States.
Nigeria’s four existing refineries have a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (bpd), though they are unable to operate at full production because of aging equipment and poor maintenance, a situation which had forced Nigeria to depend on imports to meet its refined-fuel requirements.
Engr. Oniwon pledged his readiness to continue to contribute his quota to the growth and development of the country and called for support for the present administration both at the state and federal levels.
Analysts in the industry noted that the construction of the refinery under a joint venture agreement would be expected to raise Nigeria’s refining capacity above 40 million litres (ml) of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, compared with the current capacity of 18ml. This, according to them, would make Nigeria to become an exporter of refined petroleum products like other members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).