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» » NIGERIA NEEDS $700M TO TURNAROUND REFINERIES..KACHIKWU
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“We are not inviting foreign partners to take over the refineries. We do not have the funds. Even now that they are working, they are probably working at about 60 per cent or less, below capacity. We need to upgrade the refineries and get them to a level where they will be at least 90 per cent performing, which requires money. Total investment for that is in the excess of $700 million and we do not have it. Let us be honest about it,” he clarified.

Explaining further, he stated that, “what we have now done is to find a very creative way of bringing in investors who will work with our teams who have skills, reactivate and operate the facilities in these refineries and help us to provide technical support and they will be paid through the flow out of the refined products, over a period of time.

“While we have also changed the refining model, in such a way that refineries pay for their crude into the federation account, whatever they produce will be sold to the PPMC and the marketers themselves, for which we should be praised actually.”

“The feat recorded will not end fuel importation. Even if the refineries are working at 100 per cent installed capacity, they will provide only 20 million litres daily. Our daily consumption is about 45 million litres. If the three refineries are now functioning, we will have about 12 million litres, far below the 45 million litres.

“The advantage they bring is distribution. From Port Harcourt refinery, we can distribute to the east. From the Warri refinery, you can distribute to the west. From the Kaduna refinery in the north, you can distribute to the farther areas of the north.

“We are looking at models, whereby majors that cannot import because of foreign exchange issues; we are sorting that out in a way so that they can now begin to take responsibility for their own business. So far, PPMC is taking responsibility for everybody else’s business and we do not have that kind of capacity,” he emphasised.

The minister said with the recommissioning of the Escravos-Warri-Kaduna pipeline, both Warri and Kaduna refineries could now receive crude simultaneously for the first time in many years, saying the achievements will go a long way in boosting products distribution across the country.

He said the Warri refinery had started working and that the Kaduna will start production at the end of the month.

“This means that for the first time in many years, all the three refineries and major crude pipelines will be working at the same time,” Kachikwu added.

He pointed out that the Escravos terminal is the heart beat of the downstream sector of the industry and critical to local supply of finished petroleum product as both refineries in Warri and Kaduna are majorly fed from Escravos crude stock.

“The challenge of this country is the challenge of focus and stewardship. For the first time in many years the three refineries are going to be working and it will help in a great deal with the issue of fuel supply and distribution across the country and it will go a long way to manage the fuel crisis,’’ the minister said.

He enjoined Nigerians to be more patient as the corporation works hard to end fuel shortage across the country.

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