Pledges to spend excess accruals from oil to boost infrastructure Eni submits proposal to NNPC to fix Port Harcourt refinery
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja lamented the sorry state of the country’s four refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna, saying it was disgraceful that not even one of them was working optimally.
The President, who was speaking while receiving a delegation from Eni, led by the Chief Upstream Officer, Mr. Antonio Vella, said no refinery was performing up to 50 per cent.
Buhari’s media aide, Femi Adesina, quoted the President to have said: “In my first coming, all our refineries were working. Port Harcourt used to refine 60,000 barrels per day, and it was later upgraded to 100,000 barrels. Kaduna and Warri were also working optimally, and we used to satisfy the demand of the local market. We equally exported 100,000 barrels of refined petrol. Now, no refinery is performing up to 50 per cent. It is a disgraceful thing.”
According to Adesina, the President told his visitors that extra funds outside the provision of year 2018 budget “will be deployed to infrastructure projects like roads, rail, and power, for the good of our people, and for the development of the country.”
Buhari recalled that whereas the executive had predicated the 2018 budget provisions on $45 per barrel, the Senate had adjusted it to $47 per barrel while oil prices have risen to $71 per barrel this week.
Adesina said Buhari expressed appreciation to Eni for its upcoming investments in the oil industry, which he said included the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery, and the building of a new one.
According to the statement, the leader of Eni delegation, Vella, said his organisation had presented a technical proposal to the NNPC to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery, and also done a feasibility study on a new refinery of up to 150,000 barrels per day capacity.
“Site selection has been completed, and 50 new graduates have already arrived in Italy for a training that will last seven months.
“There are other upstream initiatives, and a deep water project, with estimated expenditure of $13 billion,” He was quoted to have said.
It added that the oil company had also planned to double power generation capacity from its plant in Delta State from its current 500 megawatts to 1,000 megawatts at the cost of $750 million.