Nigeria said it will keep to the target date of 2023 for the four refineries to undergo revamping and running with the aim of ending fuel importation and crude oil swap with foreign refineries.
Chief executive of the state-run oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mele Kyari said the country will soon put an end to the oil-for-fuel swaps system after the revamping of the local refineries.
“Our plan is to deliver all of them (refineries) by 2023,” Kyari said. He did not name any companies that have expressed interest in the upgrade and repair projects.
“Our banking partners are on top of this. It is a schedule we have agreed with our partners and we believe we can deliver on this,” he said.
The oil-for-swap deals, in operation since 2016, provide virtually all Nigeria’s gasoline and some of the diesel and jet fuel. NNPC exchanges around 300,000 barrels per day of oil for imported fuels.
Nigeria four refineries located in Kaduna, Warri, and Port Harcourt with a combined capacity to process 445,000 barrels per day are currently down and efforts are in top gear to revamp them and bring them back to life.
The refineries have for decades without regular maintenance or investment leaves Nigeria almost wholly reliant on imports for refined products. Nigeria closed its ailing oil refineries in April until they can be fixed.
NNPC Kyari told a virtual panel at the African Refiners & Distributors Association annual conference that while the swaps had saved the country roughly $1 billion a year, they could soon be scrapped.
“I don’t see an extension of that process in the near future as we progress and transit into more production locally,” he said.
Kyari said he expected NNPC’s refineries to be fully revamped and running again by 2023. NNPC has said it will partner with private companies to upgrade the refineries and then run them as part of a drive to process its own oil and cut reliance on imported fuels.
Many Nigerians are banking on the quick completion of the 650,000 capacity private refineries being built in Lagos by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote slated for next year to bail the country out of fuel importation and conserve dollar.