The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday unfolded plans to acquire shares in five more private refineries in Nigeria, bringing to six its interests in refineries it is targeting.
The corporation, which had earlier indicated interest in acquiring 20 per cent stake in the 650,000 barrels per day upcoming Dangote Refinery in Lagos, said its interest in acquiring equity participation in some private refineries was in line with extant federal government policy.
The NNPC stated that the policy stipulates the mandatory participation of the corporation in any privately-owned refinery that exceeds 50,000 barrels per day capacity in keeping with its statutory role of safeguarding national energy security.
NNPC, in a statement in Abuja by its spokesman, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said it had identified at least six refinery projects in which it would seek equity participation, with five of them at the development stage while the Dangote Refinery is the largest of them.
It added that NNPC as a national oil company 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,” NNPC stated.
The statement said that NNPC’s strategic plan to ensure energy security and stimulate economic growth with limited resources required 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.
According to the corporation, the oil refining sector is one of such segments where it is revisiting its strategy in order 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 product,” it stated.
NNPC assured all stakeholders that the move to seek equity participation in the private refineries will not undercut its commitment to the rehabilitation of its refineries and strengthening the domestic refining sector.
It stated that the overall goal is to boost the nation’s refining capacity with a view to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products soon and to grow the nation’s economy.