Nigeria invites new investors for private refineries

Aug 10, 2004 02:00 AM

The federal government of Nigeria is set to invite new investors to establish private refineries in the country to improve domestic output of refined petroleum products. This is to guarantee adequate and regular supply of petroleum products required to boost economic activities, especially in the manufacturing sector, whose capacity utilisation has been remarkably eroded by incessant shortages in petroleum products supply.
Dr Edmund Daukoru, presidential adviser on petroleum and energy matters, said the federal government is seeking more investors to participate in the establishment of private refineries in the country in addition to18 promoters who received operating licences to set up of private refineries two years ago.

The essential role of the refineries in the economy, according to Daukoru, informed government's decision to soft-pedal on the promoters who failed to fulfil the terms of their licensing, after two years deadline given to them to do so under the first phase of the project expired on July 14 this year.
"The private refineries’ project is a special project that the federal government wants to encourage more people to participate in", Daukoru remarked.

Five of the licensed refinery owners, he disclosed, have gone into the construction stage, but government would still want to encourage other promoters to come forward with their proposals for licensing. Daukoru said government decided to put on hold any action against already approved prospective investors in the private refineries project as a result of its huge capital requirements.
He said over $ 1 bn needed to finance a modest refinery is difficult for investors to raise locally as a result of the poor financial status of banks operating in the country.
“We have soft-pedalled on our deadline in projects like this that huge funds are involved and the planning very delicate”, he said.

Source: LiquidAfrica
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