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Peter B

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NNPC to end fuel imports in 10 years
« on: May 14, 2010, 05:47:27 PM »
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it plans to stop the importation of petroleum products for domestic consumption in the next decade.

Shehu Ladan, the corporation’s Group Managing Director, who announced this yesterday in Abuja, said the NNPC is also planning to become a key player in international trading of petroleum products worldwide.

As part of effort to prosecute this twin agenda, Mr. Ladan unfolded plans to boost the country’s existing domestic petroleum refining capacity with an additional 750,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The NNPC boss was speaking at the formal signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a consortium of Chinese investors led by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (CSCEC) to source for funding for three Greenfield refineries and one petrochemical complex being proposed in the country.

The completion of these facilities, Ladan said, will save the country in excess of $10billion (about N1.5trillion) annually as a result of the elimination of imported refined petroleum products as well as additional $1billion (about N150billion) from the ban on importation of fertilizers and chemicals.

“These new plants are capable of generating direct and indirect employment for about 20,000 Nigerians over the construction and operations periods,” he said.

New refineries

The MOU provides an opportunity for the China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE) and Chinese banks to provide contractor finance and supply credits of about 80 percent of the total value of the project, put at $28.5 billion (about N4.28trillion).

In addition, CSCEC, reputed to be the world’s sixth largest engineering and construction company is expected to provide engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and operations expertise to NNPC towards the realization of the set objectives.

A Nigerian firm, Sunrise Consortium, will serve as the local content vehicle (LCV) in the partnership.

Though one of the refineries is build to be sited in Lekki Peninsula in Lagos state, studies were ongoing to determine the most suitable location for the others, while the petrochemical plant would be situated along the national ‘gas corridor’ adjacent to the Brass LNG plant in Bayelsa State to enable it leverage on the gas natural gas feedstock from there.

“Government would want to take full advantage of the dredging of the River Niger in the location of the refineries close to the Northern part of the country. The NNPC is not only going to build the refineries to meet local need, but also for export. One day, we will also build an export-oriented refinery in the country,” the NNPC boss explained.

Yu Zhende, CSCEC Vice President (Overseas operations), said the MOU signing has laid the foundation for the actualisation of the company’s aspiration to expand its presence on the African continent as well as consolidate its foothold in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.