The federal government has expressed its commitment to improving domestic refining capacity stating it will continue to support indigenous operators on efforts to establish third party financed Modular refineries.
This was disclosed by a team from the office of the Vice President and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources led by Engr. Rabiu Suleiman, senior technical adviser to the Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on Refineries and Downstream Infrastructure, when they visited the OPAC Refinery site located at Umuseti, Kwale, Delta State last week.
According to a statement signed by the director, press and public relations, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Idang Alibi, the site visited covered all relevant activities, facilities and equipment on the refinery project site.
He added that the visit offered the team and opportunity to carry out a performance monitoring and evaluation of the refinery project as well as obtain first-hand information, review the level of progress of work, evaluate key technical aspects of the project, encourage the proponent’s commitment to the project completion and delivery time. The team also identified areas of challenges, with the intention of appropriate government intervention.
Alibi further revealed that the senior special assistant to the Vice President in charge of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Edobor Iyamu, used the opportunity to reiterate the federal government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for ease of doing business, a situation where there are no deferrals in endorsements.
Iyamu assured the project promoters of government’s continued support up till project completion. He promised that government will do everything within its capacity to ensure that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and her Agencies support OPAC Refinery and other investors to ensure the sustainability of jobs creation.
He was quoted to have said that the present administration is extremely interested in the economic development of the Niger Delta and that is imperative for the petroleum sector to utilize such opportunity to improve Nigeria’s energy security, and also provide and guarantee job creation in the region.
On his part, chairman of OPAC Refinery, Mr Momoh Jimah Oyarekhua, expressed appreciation over the interest and support given to the project by the federal government and assured that apart from OPAC refinery helping to bridge the needs of fuel consumption in Nigeria, the host community will also benefit from jobs and other auxiliary businesses that will be attracted to area.
He pointed out that this is the first phase which is designed for 7,000 barrels per day. He noted that it was set up to deliver additional domestic quality products. He added that when completed, it is expected to produce Heavy Fuel Oil (FO), Naphtha, Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Kerosene (KERO).
The chairman also stated that based on crude availability, the refinery will be upgraded in two phases: “the first phase will be the installation of two (2) additional modules of 7,000bpd to bring the refining capacity to 21,000 barrels per day, and this phase is planned for implementation within one year from commissioning of the first phase.
“Subsequently, a 40,000barrels per day conventional refinery will be added to this project and will be designed to produce Premium Motor Spirit in the nearest possible future,” he said. In another development, the goup managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has said the target of the corporation is to make its foremost upstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the number one exploration and production company in Nigeria.
Credit – FESTUS OKOROMADU Leadership