The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says plans are underway to acquire equity in six private refineries across the country.
While stressing that there is no going back in its plans, the state oil firm explained that acquiring equity in the private refineries is important for national energy security.
A spokesman for the corporation, Kennie Obateru, in a statement noted that the move was in line with plans by the Federal Government.
According to him, the Federal Government policy directive stipulates the mandatory participation of the Corporation in any privately-owned refinery that exceeds 50,000 barrels per day capacity in keeping with its statutory role of safeguarding national energy security.
“In this regard, the Corporation has identified at least six refinery projects in which it intends to seek equity participation, five of them are at the development stage with the Dangote Refinery being the largest of them,” Obateru said.
He explained that NNPC, being a national oil company, primarily has a dual role of providing stewardship for the nation’s hydrocarbon resources and adding value to the resources for the benefit of all Nigerians and other stakeholders.
These roles enable it to achieve the twin objectives of providing energy security for the country and stimulating the nation’s economic development and growth, Obateru said.
He said that NNPC’s strategic objective to ensure energy security and stimulate economic growth with limited resources requires it to consider strategic partnerships with competent investors in sectors of the oil and gas value chain especially where it currently operates on a sole risk basis.
He explained that “the oil refining sector is one of such segments where NNPC is revisiting its strategy in order to strengthen domestic refining capacity and guarantee National Energy Security. The new vision is to grow domestic refining capacity, improve petroleum products supply from our local refineries and become a net exporter of petroleum products.”
Obateru said the move to seek equity participation in the private refineries would not undercut its commitment to the rehabilitation of its refineries and strengthen the domestic refining sector.
The corporation added further that the overall goal was to boost the nation’s refining capacity with a view to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products in the soonest possible time and boosting the nation’s economy.