The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has invited applications from companies qualified to operate and maintain three state-run oil refineries.
NNPC said Friday in a publication that it is seeking to engage reputable and credible operations and maintenance companies to operate and maintain the Port Harcourt, Warri,
and Kaduna Refineries to ensure reliability and sustainability to meet the nation’s fuel supply obligation.
The invitation for Expressions of Interest is coming nearly a month after the NNPC signed a contract with Italy’s Maire Tecnimont for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery.
The $1.5 billion contract was signed by the managing director of the Port Harcourt Refinery, Ahmed Dikko, and the vice president of Tecnimont, Sub-Saharan Africa, Davide Pellizola.
The signing indicated the contract for the repairs of the 210,000 barrels per-day-refinery had taken off. The Federal Executive Council approved the contract in March, a decision many analysts criticised as wasteful.
Nigeria has four refineries, owned by the government, but imports its refined petroleum products. The approval for the Port Harcourt Refinery was welcomed with mixed reactions as the country in the past spent billions of dollars on refinery maintenance with no success.
The NNPC has said the country does not have the required funds to build a new refinery. Mele Kyari, NNPC Group Managing Director, said in April that building a new refinery would cost the country about $10 billion which is far beyond the $1.5 billion earmarked for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery.
He also said the country would have to live with importation of petroleum product, especially petrol, for another four years if the country ventures into building a new refinery.
In March, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said the rehabilitation will be done in three phases of 18, 24 and 44 months.