The government of Nigeria, Africa’s top oil exporter, is expected to approve a new US$ 2.5 billion private refinery after upcoming elections in the west African nation, an official of the proposed 100 000 bpd Imo refinery said on April 6.
The presidential vote has been pushed back to April 16 after administrative chaos caused its first round of voting to be aborted.
Anthony Chukwueke, chairman of the implementation committee for the Imo Refinery Project, said that the Nigeria’s national oil company had already signed an agreement in principle supporting the refinery:
‘Hopefully after the elections that are going on in Nigeria we will get the government to sign, so that's basically where we are. We now need for the government to bless the agreements because it contains some incentives we want to put in for investors, and when we have obtained this, we will be in a position to invite investors to participate.’
Chukwueke said the plan was to increase production at Imo to 200 000 or 250 000 bpd, with the first refined oil expected to be ready by 2016.
Nigeria exports more than 2 million bpd and has four refineries with a combined capacity of 445 000 bpd, but they have never reached full production because of sabotage and poor maintenance. The country currently imports the bulk of its refined products because its four refineries are only performing at 30% of capacity.
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