FG ambushes Dangote Refinery

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  • shifts revival of all 4 refineries to 2020

The federal government have resulted plans to revive all four national oil refineries as the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachukwu gave a new date of 2020 as when the refineries will be back on stream.

Analysts say the new date may clash with when the highly expected Dagote Refinery will begin production.

It would be recalled that Aliko Dangote himself had in August this year, expressed hope to finish building the refinery, which will cost between $12-14 billion in 2019 and to start production in early 2020.

However, the Minister explained that the protracted foot-dragging of financing talks have forced the federal government to extend the expected date of full operations to 2020.

Though he was silent on the impact of the new date on the Dangote refinery, National Daily recalls that all refineries, which have long operated at a fraction of their capacity after years of under-investment, began looking for private partners last year to help improve output.

Until those facilities can be fixed, or new ones constructed, Nigeria will be heavily dependent on imported fuels.

The after effects of the abysmal performances of the refineries including wastages in both national revenues by switching to crude-swap deals with leading refining multinationals with high costs of landing; now put at N205.

In an interview on the sidelines of the ongoing Africa Oil Week in South Africa, Kachukwu said that “It’s not likely to happen by the end of 2019 because the financing talks for the joint ventures took longer than expected.”

He hinted further that the needed funding is expected to be secured December, with two years required to bring the plants closer to their full combined capacity of 445,000 barrels a day.

It would be recalled that the NNPC had few months ago, failed to convince the National Assembly on the need to approve additional $1.8bn for another round of Turnaround Maintenance (TAM) for the refineries as the lawmakers felt the agency had shortchanged the nation whenever it gets funding for the refineries.