By Bankole Wright
The Federal Government’s plan to attract investment in modular refineries as part of efforts to boost local refining capacity, gained momentum yesterday with an Indonesian firm, PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of PT Intim Perkasa, Indonesia, indicating interest to build a refinery in Nigeria.
Mr. Adi Hartadi, the Head of Investor Relations of PTPP (Persero) Tbk, partners to PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Ltd, who disclosed this in Abuja during a business meeting with the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated that the proposed refinery would be located in Akwa Ibom State.
The refinery, a modular one, will have refining capacity for 10,000 barrels per stream day. Hartadi stated that their company has more than 50 years of experience in construction and engineering and it was desirous of diversifying into downstream operations in Nigeria.
Responding, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Refineries and Petrochemicals, Engr. Anigbor Kragha, stated that NNPC placed high premium on investment in the nation’s refining sector.
The GMD stated that the Corporation had a Greenfield Refinery Department that specialized in new refinery projects and also provided professional support to potential investors in modular refinery in the country in line with the Federal Government policy on modular refineries.
He explained that the country’s three refineries with a combined capacity of 445,000bpd could not function optimally over the years due to lack of investment, adding that NNPC would give necessary support to the Indonesian Company interest in the downstream sector.
“On our end, we have embarked on ambitious plan to fast-track programmes to restore our capacity utilization from 30 per cent to a minimum of 90 per cent in the next 24 months. To do that, we are working on securing financing from third parties, not just funding, but also technical expertise to help us increase our performance to world class levels that they should be,” Baru stated.
He explained that given Nigeria’s expected population, by 2025, more than 40 million litres of petrol would be required for local consumption, adding that the combined capacity of the nation’s 3 refineries would only be able to satisfy just above 50 per cent of the projected local demand. He expressed optimism that with this kind of investment coming steadily, Nigeria could serve as a regional hub of refined petroleum products for West Africa and beyond.
He called on the investors to be mindful of clean fuel policy across African countries and ensure that they produce fuels that meet specification with regards to sulphur content. Earlier, Dwiyatna Widinugraha, Third Secretary for Economic Affairs, Indonesian Embassy in Nigeria and the leader of the Indonesian delegation, stated that the visit was a follow-up to the earlier visit by the Indonesian envoy to NNPC, the bilateral meeting between the Indonesian Trade Minister with his Nigerian counterpart as well as the visit of Indonesian Prime Minister to Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Harry Purwanto, had recently expressed interest in purchasing more crude oil from Nigeria during a courtesy call to the NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru.