31 January 2019

Nigeria: NNPC, Investors' Negotiation Over Refineries Repair Stalls

The plan by the federal government to bring in third-party financiers that would fund the revamp of the country's three ailing refineries would no longer go ahead, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said yesterday.

Kachikwu who disclosed this during a press conference at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) said the efforts to fix the refineries since 2016 through private investors that will collaborate with government to put these plants in order has failed because the government could not agree on favourable terms with the funders.

The minister who chairs the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the NNPC board met by December to take a final decision on whether to proceed with government's plan to rehabilitate the refineries using third-party funds.

"What I understand from the result that has come back to us is that they (NNPC) were not comfortable... NNPC has looked at the economic fundamentals and they are not quite happy with what they see on the table," Kachikwu said.

"I think they are coming up with something new to present to the Board as a way to go forward," he said adding that "a Board meeting is slated for next week and i will be getting a report from them."

Speaking earlier during a panel session NNPC's Chief Operating Officer, Refineries, Anibor Kragha said 28 companies expressed interest to revamp the refineries.

"We evaluated them on various parameters and eventually, the NNPC Board approved two consortia. For Port Harcourt, it was ENI for technical capacity, Sepsa, Oando, Trafigura, and A. A. Rano.

"We joined Warri and Kaduna because of the inter-dependency of those two refineries on crude. We have Vitol, GE, MRS, Sahara.

"What we are doing now, is that we are focusing on one refinery at a time, we are starting with Port Harcourt refinery before the end of next year," Kragha said without explaining how NNPC would get the fund this time.

We have already negotiated how much it would cost for the original refineries builders to come in and do the first phase," he said.

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