A refinery worth $15 billion is set to be built in either Rivers or Bayelsa by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

Officials from the Petroleum Ministry, NAOC and NNPC officials met with vice-president Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, where terms of the potential deal were discussed.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, briefed journalists about the meeting, adding that AGOP would also be building a power plant and repairing the Port Harcourt refinery.

“The Acting President chaired two meetings this morning. The first was with the ministry of Petroleum, NNPC and Agip Oil Company,” Kachikwu stated.

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“In the first meeting, we dealt largely with issues relating to Agip’s investment on Zabazaba Field and then their cooperation with us in terms of repairs of the Port Harcourt refinery where they are working with Oando and a few other people.

“And thirdly and more importantly, we reviewed, following my meeting with Agip during the OTC (over the counter) last week with their Chief Executive Officer worldwide.

“We reached an agreement that Agip would build a brand new refinery of 150,000 barrels capacity, which will be located either in Port Harcourt (Rivers) or in Brass (Bayelsa).

“And so, today they reconfirmed that and they are preparing an MOU along those lines.

“The effect of that new refinery goes back to our insistence that oil companies who work in this country would need to begin to migrate away from just exporting crude and begin to look at how to refine those crude and help our local capacity to be able to meet our consumption.

“So, it is very welcome, deliberative, very successful meeting and we are looking forward to work with Agip going forward in working out the modalities and quickening the process to execute this major project.

“I would also be calling on other multinationals who occupy the same space to see what they can do both in the areas of power.

“Total investment from Agip involved in both the Zabazaba field, the power plant and the new refinery is in excess of $15 billion. That is major push in terms of our search for investment,” the minister explained.

“They (Agip) are going to build their own refinery; it is not different from Dangote building a refinery.

“And if our own will pack up because they are doing then we must be doing something wrong.

“So, if they are going to bring best practices to the field we need to pursue those best practices because ultimately we must begin to look at an export model,” he added.”