The opposition stems from the fact that millions of dollars had been spent in the turnaround maintenance of the ailing refineries in the past without any appreciable results.
The Chief Operating Officer of Refineries and Petrochemicals of the NNPC, Mr. Anibor Kragha, told the African Refiners Association Conference in Cape Town on Tuesday that the NNPC was in the final stages of talks with consortiums, including top traders, energy majors and oil services companies to revamp its long-neglected oil refineries in an effort to reduce its reliance on imported fuel.
“We believe that by the second quarter of this year, we will start the ball rolling on the refurbishment and rehabilitation exercise. This will run to the end of next year.
“We are working with consortia right now; negotiating terms, trying to finalise the time sheets so that we can access the money, through the end of 2019 when we believe we will have the minimum 90 percent capacity utilization in place,” local media reports on Wednesday quoted Kragha as saying.
Nigeria has four refineries with a total capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (bpd), but they operate far below the installed capacities due to poor maintenance culture and years of neglect.
The refineries, according to NNPC reports, recorded their highest capacity utilization of 37 percent last year and dropped to 5.92 percent in November 2017.