Posted by Innocent Oweh | 27 January 2018 | 1,410 times
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday lamented the state of Nigeria’s refineries, saying it’s disgraceful that all of them put together can no longer meet 50 percent production capacity.
He noted that this development was never the case in his days as military head of state, stressing that petroleum refining capacity even soared up to 100 barrels per day with enough to export.
He said, “In my first coming, all our refineries were working. Port Harcourt used to refine 60,000 barrels per day, and it was later upgraded to 100,000 barrels. Kaduna and Warri were also working optimally, and we used to satisfy the demand of the local market. We equally exported 100,000 barrels of refined petrol. Now, no refinery is performing up to 50%. It is a disgraceful thing.”
The president made the observation while receiving a delegation from Eni, an oil firm, led by the Chief Upstream Officer, Mr Antonio Vella at the Presidential Villa.
He noted that despite the fact that crude oil prices have increased at the international market of late, income accruing to the country from sales of the product will be spent on infrastructural development.
According to Buhari, extra funds outside the provision of year 2018 budget “will be deployed to infrastructure projects like roads, rail, and power, for the good of our people, and for the development of the country.
Recall that the 2018 budget provisions had been predicated on $45 per barrel by the executive, and the Senate had adjusted it to $47 per barrel. Oil prices have, however, risen to $70 per barrel, this week.
President Buhari also lauded Eni for its upcoming investments in the oil industry, which included rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery, and the building of a new one.
Leader of the Eni delegation, Antonio Vella, said his organisation has presented a technical proposal to the NNPC to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery, and also done a feasibility study on a new refinery of up to 150,000 barrels per day capacity.
“Site selection has been completed, and 50 new graduates have already arrived in Italy for a training that will last seven months.
“There are other upstream initiatives, and a deep water project, with estimated expenditure of $13 billion,” Vella disclosed.
The oil company also plans to double power generation capacity from its plant in Delta State from its present 500 MW to 1,000 MW, spending $750 million in the process.
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