By Ovie Okpare
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday said it has identified six refinery projects including Dangote Refinery where it will acquire equity participation in their operations.
It said the move was in line with Federal Government policy directive which stipulates the mandatory participation of the Corporation in any privately-owned refinery that exceeds 50,000 barrels per day capacity.
In a statement by the Corporation’s spokesperson, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said the move is aimed at keeping with its statutory role of safeguarding national energy security.
Obateru said aside Dangote Refinery, which is the biggest, five other refinery projects were currently at the development stage.
The statement explained that NNPC, the National Oil Company of Nigeria, primarily 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.
“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”, it said.
He said that 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 in order to strengthen domestic refining capacity and guarantee National Energy Security.
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“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”, it further added.
NNPC, in the statement, assured that the move to seek equity participation in the private refineries would not undercut its commitment to the rehabilitation of its own refineries and strengthen the domestic refining sector.
It further stated that the overall goal is to boost the nation’s refining capacity with a view to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products in the soonest possible time and boosting the nation’s economy.