The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has announced that Nigeria will start refining crude on or before 2019.
The minister revealed this while speaking with state house correspondents shortly after meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and top management of Agip Oil Company in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
According to Kachikwu, Italian oil company Eni of its Nigerian subsidiary, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC is preparing a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Government to build a $15bn refinery in Portharcourt, Rivers state.
Kachikwu expressed that the investment when completed, will reduce reliance on imported oil products and also meet the needs of Nigeria’s local consumption before the year 2019.
“In the meeting we dealt with the issue of Agip investment in Zabazaba field and their cooperation with us in the repairs of Port Harcourt refinery.
“We reached an agreement that Agip will build a brand new refinery of 150,000 barrels capacity which will be located in Port Harcourt or Brass, they have accepted and preparing an MOU along this line.
“The effect of this is that oil companies operating in Nigeria will begin to migrate from only exporting crude and begin to look on how to start refining these crude so that we will be able to meet our local consumption.
“With this new refinery and along with other things we are going to do with the refinery in Port Harcourt, it gives us hope in our quest to try and increase our local capacity to produce every refined product we need in the country and to meet the time line of 2019. We are now going ahead to work out the modality with Agip”, he said.
Kachikwu also revealed that in the area of power, “Agip has second largest plant which will be on stream by 2020.”
“This is to make sure they are not only just taking away crude but making other local investment. Total investment in area of power and the refinery from Agip is in excess of $15 billion,” he added