Nigeria’ll benefit from refinery closures in Europe –NNPC

The projected closures of some refineries in advanced economies imply that there will likely be a relocation of refining operations from those countries to areas of higher demand for petroleum products like Nigeria, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, has said.

Baru said there were bright prospects for Nigerian refineries going by the current dynamics of the global oil and gas industry.

He also revealed that the NNPC was planning to export natural gas to European countries.

In a recent publication of the NNPC obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, the corporation’s boss further stated that apart from the projected closures of refineries in Europe, the emergence of the Dangote refinery would create competition in the refining sector that could be of benefit to NNPC’s refineries.

Baru disclosed this while speaking to employees of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company during a retreat that was organised by the management of the refinery.

Aside from the KRPC, Nigeria’s other refineries are the Port Harcourt Refining Company and the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company.

The GMD stated that another development which the refineries would benefit from was the International Maritime Organisation regulation that reduces the cap on the sulphur content of bunker fuel from 3.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent as from January 1, 2020.

According to him, the regulation held huge opportunities for refiners across the globe and that Nigeria would not be an exception.

Baru, however, raised concern about the state of Nigerian refineries and the possibility of their cashing in on the prospects and opportunities.

He, therefore, challenged workers at the Kaduna refinery to contribute their quota to maximise the value of  the KRPC by increasing its capacity utilisation to a globally accepted level.

On the planned export of natural gas to European countries, the GMD stated that the proposed Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline would ultimately be linked up with the existing Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline in northern Morocco to supply gas from Nigeria to Europe.

He said, “The feasibility study has been concluded and the pre-FEED (Front End Engineering Design) optimisation study is currently ongoing.

“While this pipeline will help in electrification and industrialisation of these countries, it will also meet the needs of European consumers for heating.”
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