By Etuka Sunday
In furtherance of the Federal Government’s commitment to improve domestic refining capacity and ongoing efforts in the support of the establishment of third party financed Modular refineries, 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, visited the OPAC Refinery site located at Umuseti, Kwale, Delta State on Tuesday, 24th April, 2018.
The site visit which covered all relevant activities, facilities and equipment on the refinery project site, as well as performance monitoring and evaluation of the refinery project was conducted to amongst others 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 as well as identify areas of challenges, if any, for appropriate government’s intervention.
Speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President in charge of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Edobor Iyamu reiterated that the Federal Government has created an enabling environment for ease of doing business, a situation where there are no deferrals in endorsements.
The Director, Press and Public Relation, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Idang Alibi quoted him to have given assurances to the promoters that Government support will continue up till project completion; and everything within Government capacity will be done 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 said that the present administration is extremely interested in the economic development of the Niger Delta and therefore imperative for the petroleum sector to utilize such opportunity to improve Nigeria’s energy security, and also provide and guaranteed job creation in the region.
The chairman of OPAC Refinery, Mr. Momoh Jimah Oyarekhua expressed appreciation at 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 is expected to be attracted to area.
He pointed out that this is the first phase and is designed for 7,000 barrels per day, that it was set up to deliver additional domestic quality products. When completed, it is expected to produce Heavy Fuel Oil (FO), Naphtha, Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Kerosene (KERO).
He 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.
In his remarks, Engr. Rabiu Suleiman on behalf of the Honourable Minister of State, commended the local investors and their partners for the initiative and commitment, affirming that he impressed and satisfied by what he has seen, the speed and quality of work and advised that the pace of work should not in any way be slowed down.