By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Wednesday disclosed that an Indonesian firm, PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of PT Intim Perkasa, Indonesia, has indicated interest in building a 10,000-barrel per day modular refinery in Akwa Ibom State.
According to a statement by the NNPC, Mr. Adi Hartadi, Head of Investor Relations of PTPP (Persero) Tbk, partners to PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Limited, disclosed this in Abuja during a business meeting with the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru.
Hartadi stated that the company has more than 50 years of experience in construction and engineering and it was desirous of diversifying into downstream operations in Nigeria.
Commenting on the planned investment in the refinery, Maikanti Baru said the NNPC placed high premium on investment in the nation’s refining sector, adding that the corporation would give necessary support to the Indonesian Company’s interest in the downstream sector.
Baru, who was represented by Chief Operating Officer, Refineries and Petrochemicals of the NNPC, Mr. Anigbor Kragha, stated that the country’s three refineries, with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, could not function optimally over the years due to lack of investment.
Baru 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 three 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.
He said, “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 further stated that in line with the Federal Government’s policy on modular refineries the NNPC had set up a Greenfield Refinery Department that specialized in new refinery projects and also provide professional support to potential investors in modular refinery in the country.
Also speaking Third Secretary for Economic Affairs, Indonesian Embassy in Nigeria and the leader of the Indonesian delegation, Mr. Dwiyatna Widinugraha 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.
The country’s decision to build a refinery in Nigeria was coming few weeks after Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Harry Purwanto, had expressed the interest of the country in purchasing more crude oil from Nigeria.