Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has given reasons why the federal government could not proceed with its plans to build greenfield refineries in the country, stating that the project was stalled due to the withdrawal of the foreign partners from it.
It, however, stated that feasibility studies for the governmentâ€™s greenfield modular refinery project, one of which would be built in Bayelsa State have been concluded.
NNPC equally disclosed that it would partner Bayelsa to build a power plant in the state, as part of a joint effort to resolve Nigeriaâ€™s electricity challenge.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made this known on Thursday while receiving the Governor of Bayelsa, Mr. Seriake Dickson, in Abuja.
A statement from the Group General Manager Public Affairs of the corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, stated that Baru said the power plant would be built at the stateâ€™s proposed industrial park.
It explained that the collaboration would afford the state and NNPC the opportunity to share technical knowledge that would attract investors to the Niger Delta region.
â€œWe have a lot of areas of collaboration. The NNPC will support Bayelsa State Government every inch of the way to deliver on the power plant in the proposed industrial park, ensure security of oil and gas infrastructure and siting of other inclusive projects that would improve the lives of the people in the communities,â€ said Baru in the statement.
Commenting on the delay on the Final Investment Decision (FID) of Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (BLNG), Baru stated that the project had not taken off because arrangements are on for a market window for the product.
â€œWe have spent a lot of money on the Brass LNG project and we had planned the FID for 2012 but the shareholders were unable to secure the market due to new plants in East Africa and other developments in the industry. What the shareholders in Brass LNG are doing now is to redesign the plant and secure a market because without the market the project cannot go on,â€ he said.
He equally expressed interest in the stateâ€™s Brass Fertilizer Company, assuring that NNPC was prepared to invest in the project as a shareholder.
He pledged to rally NNPC and its Joint Venture partners to support the state trust fund in order to mitigate the incidences of pipeline vandalism which impact negatively on the efficiency of the operators as well as the environment.
Earlier, Dickson said the visit was to appreciate the efforts of Baru and his team and to solicit NNPCâ€™s support for the stateâ€™s security, development and the oil and gas industry.
Dickson told Baru that his state would seek an Oil Prospecting License (OPL), whenever another bid round opens.
He noted that his state needed such investment, over time, to augment the monthly allocation from the federal government.