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The Federal Government has reached an agreement with Agip to build a refinery in Nigeria, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
The minister said the 150,000 barrels capacity refinery will be located in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Kachiukwu briefed State House correspondents yesterday after a meeting of Agip top management with the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said: “We just finished a meeting with the Acting President and Agip. In the meeting we dealt with the issue of Agip investment in Zabazaba field and their cooperation with us in the repairs of the Port Harcourt refinery.
“We reviewed the isues following my meeting with Agip. We reached an agreement that Agip will build a brand new refinery of 150,000 barrels capacity which will be located in Port Harcourt, or Brass, and they have accepted and preparing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) along this line.
Kachiukwu said the effect of this is that “oil companies operating in Nigeria will begin to migrate from only exporting crude to begin to look on how to start refining these crude so that we will be able to meet our local consumption.
“With this new refinery and along with other things we are going to do with the refinery in Port Harcourt, it will give us hope in our quest to try and increase our local capacity to produce every refined product we need in the country and to meet the time line of 2019.”
He said the government is now going ahead to work out the modality with Agip. The Minister also called on other multi nationals to see how they can toe the same line, adding that Agip, which has the second largest plant in the area of power, will be on stream by 2020.
“This is to make sure they are not only just taking away crude but making other local investment. Total investment in area of power and the refinery from Agip is in excess of $15 billion.”