By Yetunde Bada
An Indonesian firm, PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of PT Intim Perkasa, Indonesia, on Wednesday indicated its interest to build a refinery in Nigeria.
Mr Adi Hartadi, the Head of Investor Relations of the firm gave the indication at a business meeting with the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru in Abuja.
In a statement Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, said the Federal Government’s plan to attract investment in modular refineries as part of efforts to boost local refining capacity had started gaining momentum.
Hartadi disclosed that the proposed refinery would be located in Akwa Ibom State and would have a refining capacity for 10,000 barrels per stream day.
Hartadi stated that the firm had more than 50 years of experience in construction and engineering designed to diversify into downstream operations in Nigeria.
Responding, Baru, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Refineries and Petrochemicals, Mr Anibor Kragha, said that NNPC placed high premium on investment in the nation’s refining sector.
Baru said the Corporation had a Greenfield Refinery Department that specialized in new refinery projects and also provided professional support to potential investors in modular refinery in the country in line with the Federal Government’s policy on modular refineries.
He explained that the country’s three refineries with a combined capacity of 445,000bpd could not function optimally over the years due to lack of investment, adding that NNPC would give necessary support to the Indonesian Company interest in the downstream sector.
”On our end, we have embarked on ambitious plan to fast-track programmes to restore our capacity utilization from 30 per cent to a minimum of 90 per cent in the next 24 months.
”To do that, we are working on securing financing from third parties, not just funding, but also technical expertise to help us increase our performance to world class levels that they should be,” Baru said.
He explained that given Nigeria’s expected population, by 2025, more than 40 million litres of petrol would be required for local consumption, adding that the combined capacity of the nation’s refineries would only be able to satisfy just above 50 per cent of the projected local demand.
He expressed optimism that with this kind of investment coming steadily, Nigeria could serve as a regional hub of refined petroleum products for West Africa and beyond.
He called on the investors to be mindful of clean fuel policy across African countries and ensure that they produce fuels that met specification with regards to sulphur content.
The visit was a follow-up to a bilateral meeting between the Indonesian Trade Minister with his Nigerian counterpart as well as the visit of Indonesian Prime Minister to Nigeria.
The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto, had recently expressed interest in purchasing more crude oil from Nigeria during a courtesy call esrlier in the year.