Italy oil firm, ENI to repair Port Harcourt refinery
Plans are underway by the Italy-owned international oil company, ENI, to refurbish the Port Harcourt refinery.
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the oil firm and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Rome, Italy, yesterday, the company would also build the phase two of the Okpai Power Plant.
A statement by the Director, Press, Ministry of Petroleum, Idang Alibi, quoted the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who is in Rome, as urging international oil Companies (IoCs) to invest in building refineries in Nigeria.
Speaking at a presentation to top executives of ENI in Rome, Italy, Kachikwu enjoined the group to move beyond just the business of crude exploration to firmly supporting the vision of enhancing local production of petroleum products in Nigeria by building refineries in the country.
The minister stated that the major plan of the Federal Government is to stop importation of petroleum products in the long term and that it would be expedient that every IoC should invest in building a refinery with a chain of distributions.
Kachikwu assured that if IoCs build refineries within a short period of time, investment in the venture could be recouped by direct sales model.
He explained that the government desires to upgrade old refineries and build new ones, thus increasing local production capacity with an objective to reduce importation of petroleum products by 60 per cent in 2018, and by 2019 to become a net exporter of petroleum products and value-added petrochemicals.
In continuation of the ongoing investment drive in Italy, Kachikwu would also be meeting the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development of Italy to formalise the new trend of cooperation between oil majors and Nigeria.
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