Nigeria is going to save about N367.2bn annually through the domestic refining of crude oil to Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has said.
NNPC’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, explained that the refining of crude oil into PMS in Nigeria would compress the logistics cost around petrol supply by about N17/litre, describing this as significant.
This was also confirmed by oil marketers on Wednesday, who told our correspondent that it was high time the Federal Government, through NNPC, got Nigeria’s refineries working, based on the huge benefits this would avail the country.
NNPC supplies over 60 million litres of petrol daily to keep Nigeria wet with the product. A N17/litre reduction in logistics cost would translate to N1.02bn savings daily.
Based on this, Nigeria is going save over N367bn annually once the country starts producing petrol domestically from Dangote Refinery, as well as the country’s refineries under the management of NNPC
Kyari, while speaking during a programme on Nigeria Television Authority, which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday, also stated that efforts were ongoing to get the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries ready in the first half of this year.
He, however, pointed out that the local refining of crude would not warrant a massive crash in the cost of petrol, though there would be some gains in price with respect to logistics.
He said, “This understanding that once you start local refining prices will crash, this is not so. It is very unlikely to play out that way, because firstly, crude oil will continue to be the major feedstock for every refinery. 70 per cent of your operation cost always come from crude, as your feedstock, and this is priced at international market.
“However, two things will change when we start local refining. It gives you security of supply. Now, when you place an order, it takes you 14 days to get these (petroleum) products from Europe into our country and that can be a matter of concern.
“Any glitch with weather, war situation, or something happens, you’ll run into trouble, but once you’re producing locally, the products become very close to you and the issue of energy security becomes much more assured.”
Secondly, he said the in-country refining of crude “reduces the logistics cost, because for you to move products from Europe to Nigeria, probably it is going to cost you about N21/litre today.”
Kyari added, “But when you bring it closer home, you are probably going to need N7 or N8/litre to move it from one location, all things being equal.
“So it is going to compress your price in today’s context, maybe by N17 or so, and that N17 is quite significant. But more than anything, it gives you the security of supply because these products will be closer.”
Speaking on the state of rehabilitation of the refineries, the NNPC boss explained that two of the facilities were on course and would be ready this year.
He said, “We have promised this country that we will restart the fuels plant in Port Harcourt refinery in the first half of 2023 and we are very optimistic that we will do this before the end of the tenure of this President.
“We are also aligning that to schedule with that of Warri refinery, so that we can also start the fuels plant. For Kaduna, I cannot promise this because we have got Daewoo, a Korean company, to commence the turn-around maintenance. It has less challenge.
“And, of course, we will also deliver it, but definitely not within this time framework we are talking about. We are very hopeful that this will be delivered. And also, don’t forget that NNPC holds 20 per cent equity in the Dangote Refinery today.”
Kyari said the national oil company was also very optimistic that before the first half of this year, the Dangote Refinery would start.
“And while that is happening, the issue of imports of petroleum products into our country will be gone forever. We’ll actually become a net exporter of petroleum products,” he stated.
The Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, while commenting on the essence of domestic refining of crude, stated that once is achieved, the incessant scarcity of PMS would end.
“It is high time we got our refineries working. We can’t continue to produce crude without refining it here. Once we succeed in refining crude in Nigeria, the problem of fuel scarcity will become a thing of the past,” he told our correspondent in Abuja.