Kachikwu met representatives from Eni and said agreement had been reached to build the facility in the southern oil hub of Port Harcourt or along the coast in Brass, he said late Tuesday, 9 May.
While details of the firm’s new investment were still being worked out, “they have accepted and are preparing an MOU along this line”, Kachikwu added.
OPEC-member Nigeria produces some two million barrels of crude oil per day, but a lack of domestic refining capacity means most refined petroleum products like petrol must be imported, thus reducing the amount of foreign exchange the country has for other imports.
“The effect of this is that oil companies operating in Nigeria will begin to migrate from only exporting crude and begin to look at how to start refining this crude so that we will be able to meet our local consumption,” said Kachikwu.
Nigeria’s existing four oil refineries produce below their installed capacity owing to decades of corruption and inefficiency, and cannot supply the 45 million litres the nation consumes per day.