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NNPC Looks To India For Help In Repair Of Refineries

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday indicated it would be willing to accept technical assistance from India to repair its refineries in Kaduna, Warri, and Port Harcourt, which have a collective processing capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (bd), but have remained largely unproductive for years.

NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, reportedly told the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Abhay Thakur, who paid him a visit that with the refineries up for repairs, the corporation would need technical assistance from Indian companies.

A recent report from the NNPC had indicated that the refineries made profit only once in the last 13 months, which is between November 2017 and November 2018, and recorded a consolidated trading losse amounting to N137.489 billion, in addition to operating at very low capacity utilisation.

Also, the corporation’s negotiation with financiers for a planned refineries revamp programme collapsed recently when parties could not agree on commercial terms to be adopted in the programme which was initiated to get the refineries working at optimal levels and contribute to Nigeria exiting importation of refined petroleum products by the end of 2019.

But Baru, in a statement signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja, explained that Indian companies in Nigeria have played some remarkable roles, and thus called on them to extend their presence to the downstream sector of the country’s petroleum industry to leverage on the enormous opportunities therein.

The statement noted that Nigeria and India pledged to work more closely to enhance energy security for both countries, adding that Baru also assured Thakur that NNPC would be committed to strengthening the existing relations between both countries in the energy sector.
According to the statement, Thakur earlier commended Nigeria for its support to India in the area of energy security, stressing that Nigeria had been contributing significantly to India’s energy needs.

He said India was open to further strengthening its collaboration with Nigeria through regular dialogue and exchange of technical know-how.
“Specifically, India is already sourcing almost 10 per cent of its energy requirement from Nigeria and we look forward to further strengthening of this cooperation across various sources of energy, not only oil, but also in gas, solar energy and other renewable sources,” the statement quoted him to have said.

He further commended the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and Baru, for successfully hosting the recently concluded Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), and assured of India’s continued support for Nigeria.