Despite the sundry challenges that stalled building of many of the licensed personal refineries in Nigeria, Eko Petrochem and Refining Firm Restricted has remained undaunted, resulting in the current funding help it obtained from the United States authorities, by way of the US Trade and Improvement Company. Ejiofor Alike studies
A major challenge going through Nigeria and indeed, West Africa, is weak refining capability, which has made the sub-region heavily dependent on imported petroleum merchandise.
Aside from losing the scare overseas trade operating into billions of dollars yearly on importation of petroleum merchandise, Nigeria’s weak refining capability has pressured it to export all its crude, thus dropping the value-addition inherent in native refining.
Whereas the 445,000 barrels per day capacity refineries operated by the Nigerian Nationwide Petroleum Company (NNPC) in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna have exhibited woeful performance lately because of lack of efficient turn around upkeep (TAM) and obsolete know-how, a lot of the non-public buyers licensed to build personal refineries have been plagued by lack of funding to embark on the construction initiatives
After the efforts by successive administrations to rehabilitate the NNPC’s refineries and guarantee their full capability utilisation hit the rocks as a result of the out of date technology and lack of funding to perform efficient TAM, the present administration has turned to the private sector to actualise the country’s dream of exiting importation of petroleum merchandise by 2019.
Already, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu had staked his job, providing to resign if the country doesn’t attain self-sufficiency in fuel provide by 2019.
Other than the planned concession of the present refineries to the non-public investors, and the concept of co-location of refineries, the present administration can be specializing in the non-public traders licensed to build modular and non-public refineries.
Research by the federal government have shown that of the 41 million litres of petrol projected daily consumption in Nigeria by 2025, 50 per cent is anticipated to return from the present refineries on attaining full capability utilisation after concession, while Dangote Refinery will account for ninety five per cent, thus making the nation a internet exporter of petroleum merchandise.
Nevertheless, the licensed personal refineries usually are not making appreciable efforts in project implementation to boost the government’s 2019 goal because of sundry challenges, distinguished of which is funding.
There are three levels of approval for organising private greenfield or modular refineries in Nigeria – License to ascertain (LTE), Approval to Construct (ATC), and Licence to Function by product in petroleum refining (LTO).
Of all of the 33 private refineries that have been given License to establish (LTE), only the 1,000 barrels per day refinery operated by the Niger Delta Petroleum Assets in Ogbelle in Rivers State has come on stream.
The refinery presently processes crude oil from the circulation station operated by the Niger Delta Exploration and Manufacturing (NDEP) Firm into diesel.
Most of the opposite buyers have not kicked off the development works as a result of difficulties in accessing funding.
Dangote Group can also be pursuing the construction of its 650,000 barrels per day refinery challenge aggressively with a target to resume operation by the top of 2019.
In the case of modular refineries, the Eko Petrochem and Refining Company Limited, a non-public Nigerian refinery and petrochemical company being promoted by Built-in Oil and Fuel Firm Restricted on the Tomaro Industrial Park Free Trade Zone in Amuwo Odofin Native Government Area of Lagos State, is leading by way of project implementation.
Following its pioneering function in the federal government’s modular refinery scheme and the exceptional progress recorded in venture implementation, Eko Refinery and has efficiently positioned itself to acquire the pioneer status and its attendant incentives.
However, the difficulties confronted by non-public buyers in accessing finance to finish detailed engineering analysis and start construction work after acquiring the approval to assemble (ATC) is the key challenge that hampers the execution of majority of the 33 private refineries licensed by the federal government.
Whereas a lot of the refineries are nonetheless at the detailed engineering design stage, others have been given approval to assemble (ATC) by the Division of Petroleum Resources (DPR) however could not proceed with the projects on account of paucity of funds.
Eko Refinery blazing a path
Eko Petrochem and Refinery’s pioneering efforts received a boost recently because the United States Government, via the US Trade and Improvement Company (USTDA) provided a grant to be specifically used to finance the completion of the detailed evaluation of supporting technologies and engineering for the implementation of the 20,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery.
Speaking on the island right behind THISDAY Corporate Head Workplace during the grant signing ceremony, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington urged Nigerians to invest in Nigeria so as to have the precise to complain when things are not going right.
“He (Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho) is investing at the time with a authorities that believes profoundly in the facility of particular person citizen and entrepreneur. He is doing it at a time with authorities that believes that Nigeria can do what may be achieved anyplace on the earth, Symington mentioned.
Recounting his earlier assembly with Ihenacho, the US Envoy mentioned: “His big level is that he stated, and this is how I fairly remembered it and may be you all can help to recollect – he (Ihenacho) said that the reason he is doing that is that except he made this investment, until he did this factor to improve the economy of Nigeria, to ensure that international currencies are retained and that overseas currencies are earned, to place Nigerians to work and produce world class expertise to Nigeria, he mentioned ‘I would not have right to complain, until I do one thing about it. This captain of a ship has now change into a pilot for the country because the best question that any country can ever ask is ‘who is main us and which means are we going and who’s in the boat? And the reply in Nigeria is that the folks of Nigeria have to steer, Symington explained.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who was represented by his Senior Technical Adviser, Mr. Rabiu Suleiman, additionally stated the USTDA gesture had demonstrated the seriousness of the promoters of the refinery in implementing the venture.
“Most of those who’ve been licensed to ascertain refineries in Nigeria have two major challenges. One is financing. Everyone knows that it is vitally difficult to boost funding and therefore, if you hear that the USTDA is extending its palms of fellowship and help in providing initial seed money required to go beyond the detailed engineering design, that additionally shows that behind him – the visionary of this undertaking, there may be a possible companion that’s prone to help and to supply the required finances to establish this explicit mission.
And for him to have the ability to deliver right down to this island, a consultant of the United States – our personal US President, that’s, the Ambassador himself, to this island, is one other demonstration of commitment and dedication to do what’s ever is essential to see that this mission takes place, Kachikwu added.
An elated Ihenacho, who is the Chairman of Built-in Oil and Fuel Limited and likewise Chairman of the refinery, famous that the USA authorities had by this gesture, accelerated the strategy of the deliberate growth of the refinery.
He, however, appealed for more support to raise the $250 million required for the complete mission.
“Let me use this opportunity to restate our unflinching commitment to actualising this modular refinery project. The help and grant that the USTDA has given to us added tonic because the fund will go a protracted way to ensuring the timely completion of the proposed developments and the realisation of the envisaged underlined financial and social impacts, Iheancho mentioned.
“May I also very quickly state that while we proceed to celebrate the delivery of this assist assistance from the USTD, we additionally have to supply vital investment funding to fully actualise the dream of this venture. To offer you an idea as to what variety of money we require, the dimensions of the money investment required is of the order of $250 million. So, I’m hopeful that one of many messages that will probably be carried residence by our august visitors is that there is a Nigerian investor sitting on a free zone – 75 hectares in dimension, waiting for individuals who want to speculate fairness or who may certainly need to loan us some money on petroleum refinery products business terms. We aren’t in search of to get it freely, Ihenacho added.
Talking on the benefits of the venture to the Nigerian economic system, Ihenacho said that “if we’re able to retain the international exchange spent within the volumes that we currently import, I tell you our financial system will probably be transformed instantly; that is why we’re caught on this thing
In his speech, the appearing Director of USTDA, Mr. Thomas Hardy mentioned the refinery undertaking would offer an excellent alternative for US businesses to export applied sciences and services to spice up Nigeria’s refining capability.
“We are proud to support this new mission, which can result in infrastructure growth and financial growth in Nigeria, Hardy stated.
Additionally talking at the grant signing ceremony, the Venture Director of Eko Petrochem and Refining Company Limited, Mr. Gordon Paton acknowledged that his 25 years of experience working in Africa, primarily in oil subject development, has outfitted him for the project.
The Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Hon. Emmanuel Jime noted that the recovery of his misplaced cell phone few minutes after he complained to Ihenacho is clear proof that the refinery venture is being based on the idea of sincerity and honesty.