There are indications that the much-awaited three Greenfield Refineries billed for Kogi and 2 other states scheduled to come on stream by 2017 may not be realizable.
This, it was gathered, is because the construction earlier planned to begin this month has been put on hold due to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC’s) inability to secure Federal Government’s approval to commence work.
The NNPC and the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) Limited had in 2010 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the joint sourcing of funds for the construction of three new refineries and a petrochemical plant in Nigeria under a $28.5-billion provisional deal.
The project had been envisaged to increase Nigeria’s refining capacity to over one million barrels per day (bpd) from the current 445,000 bpd capacity and stem the flood of importation of refined products into the country.
The parties had fixed (this month as the new date for the commencement of construction, following the NNPC’s inability to meet the May 13, 2011 date.
Front End Engineering and Design (FEED), site preparation and infrastructure had been scheduled to start in February 2012 to be followed by construction works this month of July.
The initial plan was that each of the Greenfield Refineries would be able to process around 250,000 barrels of oil a day, but their combined capacity was later downsized to 400,000 barrels per day. Under the new arrangement, the capacities of the plants to be built in Kogi and Bayelsa were reduced to 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) each, while the one to be located in Lagos, will now have the capacity for 200,000 bpd.
The delay in its take-off is considered a major setback to Nigeria’s plan to increase her refining capacity to over one million barrels per day by 2017.