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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed its consideration of equity participation in six private refineries in the country.
The NNPC this disclosure in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Kennie Obateru, on Monday.
The corporation said the move was in line with the federal government’s policy directive, which stipulates the mandatory participation of the corporation in any privately-owned refinery that exceeds 50,000 barrels per day capacity.
The directive enables the corporation to uphold its statutory role of safeguarding national energy security.
NNPC, it was gathered, is in talks to acquire a 20 per cent stake in the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote refinery
The statement said that the corporation had identified at least six refinery projects in which it intended to seek equity participation.
Said Obateru in the statement: “Five of them are at the development stage with the Dangote Refinery being the largest of them.
“NNPC has a dual role of providing stewardship for the nation’s hydrocarbon resources and adding value to the resources for the benefit of all Nigerians and other stakeholders”.
He said these roles enable it to achieve the twin objectives of providing energy security for the country and stimulating the nation’s economic development and growth.
Added he: “NNPC’s strategic objective to ensure energy security and stimulate economic growth with limited resources requires it to consider strategic partnerships with competent investors in sectors of the oil and gas value chain especially where it currently operates on a sole risk basis.
“The oil refining sector is one of such segments where NNPC is revisiting its strategy to strengthen domestic refining capacity and guarantee national energy security.
“The new vision is to grow domestic refining capacity, improve petroleum products supply from our local refineries and become a net exporter of petroleum products”.
The corporation assures that the move to seek equity participation in the private refineries would not undercut its commitment to the rehabilitation of its refineries and strengthen the domestic refining sector.
Said he: “The overall goal is to boost the nation’s refining capacity to become a net exporter of petroleum products in the soonest possible time and boost the nation’s economy”.