Nigerian state oil company says refinery revamps set for January

LAGOS, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Full restoration work on all three of Nigeria’s state-owned refineries will begin in January, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said in a statement on Saturday.

NNPC chief Mele Kyari said the company “will do everything possible between October and December” to make the projects possible.

Restoring state-owned refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna has been a long-sought, but elusive, goal for NNPC.

They have operated well under their 445,000 barrel-per-day capacity for years due to neglect, mismanagement and a lack of crude, leaving the oil-producing nation almost entirely reliant on imported fuel.

In March, Italian firm Maire Tecnimont won a $50 million contract to conduct a “complete integrity check” and inspect equipment at Port Harcourt, with Italian oil company ENI overseeing the work.

Tecnimont project manager La Mattina Carmelo, in the NNPC release, said the work was “progressing efficiently”, with the inspection nearly finished and the engineering, procurement, and construction proposal at 75% completion.

NNPC said all the refineries will operate at full capacity by 2022, but did not specify which companies would work on upgrades and repairs at Warri or Kaduna.

In August, Kyari told Reuters that NNPC is considering both government and private funding, but that after the revamps third parties would maintain and operate the refineries to ensure reliable production. (Reporting By Libby George, editing by Deepa Babington)

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