· * As three refineries come on stream
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, has said the country needs about $700 million to upgrade the refineries to operate at 90 per cent capacity.
He spoke when he inaugurated the Bonny–Eleme Refinery crude pipeline to formally bring the refinery on stream.
Inaugurating the crude pipeline on Saturday at the Pig Station of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), Alesa-Eleme, Kachikwu noted that there was need to upgrade the refineries to operate at 90 per cent capacity.
He stated that the daily consumption of premium motor spirit (pms) currently stands at about 45 million litres and said the refineries now operating at 60 per cent capacity could only produce 12 million, adding that there was need to upgrade the refineries to produce at 90 per cent minimum to produce about 20 million litres.
He said the corporation was already sourcing for foreign investors to raise the necessary funds.
He however said the foreign investors were not coming to run the refineries but only to provide the needed capital and technical assistance.
“We have signed the advertisements for investors to come in. There is no confusion about what they are coming to do; they are not coming to run the refinery. They are coming to provide funds to take our performance on these refineries to 90 per cent and to provide us with technical skills. So, the areas of intervention will be funding and technical support,” he said.
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