Nigeria plans to renovate refineries, cut fuel imports

Nigeria’s state-oil firm NNPC plans to revamp its refineries to help Africa’s biggest crude oil producer to save billions of dollars on fuel imports.

Despite controlling the world’s 10th-largest oil reserves, Nigeria has only four aging, inefficient state-owned refineries, leaving it almost wholly reliant on imports for its fuel needs.

Italy’s Maire Tecnimont won a contract from NNPC worth about $50 million to carry out checks and equipment inspections for Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta. The work would last for six months starting from the end of this month, NNPC said.

The overhaul of the Port Harcourt refinery would be the first since the last revamp was carried out 19 years ago, the NNPC said.

Earlier this year, Oil minister Emmanuele Ibe Kachikwu said the government would raise $1.2 billion to upgrade its refineries in a bid to end reliance on imports.

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote’s oil refinery, which is set to roar into operation next year, could supply almost half of refined petroleum needed by the African market.

The refinery near the capital city, Lagos, was designed to process a variety of light and medium grades of crude and produce extremely clean fuels that meet Euro V specification.

Currently, Nigeria exports its crude oil to be refined by global refiners and imports refined petroleum for its own needs.

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