Nigeria signs $4.5B deal to build 6 refineries
A $4.5 billion deal to build six refineries in Nigeria is set to make Africa’s top oil producer less reliant on exports for oil products, authorities say.
Yemi Kolajo, a spokeswoman for Nigeria’s trade ministry, said in a statement late Monday that U.S.-based Vulcan Petroleum Resources Ltd. and Nigerian-based Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve Ltd. signed the memorandum of understanding with the government in the capital, Abuja.
Two of the six refineries are to be built within the next year, Kolajo said.
Nigeria, despite producing about 2.4 million barrels of oil a day, has decrepit refineries unable to meet the nation’s growing demand for gasoline due to years of mismanagement and sabotage.
The six new refineries will refine a total of 180,000 of barrels of oil per day in a bid to address that need, the statement said.
Edozie Njoku, chairman of the Nigerian partner, said Tuesday that all the funding for the project would come from outside the country. He said they opted for modular refineries because there are many local challenges to building a refinery from scratch. Each refinery will be built in the U.S., disassembled for shipping and reassembled in Nigeria, he said.
“Our job as the local partner is to make sure that the government does all we asked of them,” Njoku said, “that they approve all the permits, etc.” He said the U.S. partner company was a venture capitalist that would be bringing investors as well as technical know-how. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.
The government has shown a lot of will to make this happen, Njoku said. “They really want to start refineries in this country, they are committed