The private sector-driven Niger Republic refinery in Mashi in Kastina state would cost $2 billion.
The planned refinery would have the capacity to produce 150, 000 barrels per day when fully completed in 2021.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and the Nigerien Minister of Energy, Foumakaye Gado, had on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the construction of the refinery.
“However, presently, we have mentally structured our minds for a three-year period to finish the work on the refinery but that depends on what we find during the technical studies,’’ Kachikwu said.
According to the minister, there is potential to also establish another extension of the refinery in Kaduna State.
“It’s going to be in Katsina but there is a potential for an extension to Kaduna but bear in mind, this started first from a perspective of they (Niger) wanting to build a pipeline from Niger to Kaduna refinery.’’
“We shut that down because the asset quality of the crude from Niger was not the same with our own and we would have had to take almost 90 per cent of our own crude to match their own 10 per cent of crude so it just didn’t make any sense.
“So at that point, we decided to do a refinery that is targeted at their crude,’’ he further explained.
Also speaking on the proposed refinery, a Nigerian investor, Alhaji Ibrahim Zakari, said about two billion dollars was needed for the construction of the Mashi Refinery in Katsina.
He pledged to spearhead the take-off of the first 100 per cent private driven refinery.
Zakari announced that his company, Blak Oil Energy Refinery had mobilised substantial part of two billion dollars needed for the construction of the refinery.
“ The funds are coming from abroad, U.S., Canada, India and the Middle East.’’
He explained that the crude for the refinery would come from Niger Republic.
According to him, it will take the company about five years to complete the project.
He said that the project when completed would provide job opportunities for more than 2,500 Nigerians.