The proposed modular refinery earmarked for Tomaro, a coastal community in Amuwo-Odofin Local Council Area of Lagos will gulp not less than $116 million.
The refinery which is expected to be in Nigeria when completed is also expected to provide direct and indirect employment to hundreds of Nigerians.
Master mariner and promoter of the refinery, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho who disclosed this recently in Lagos said the project which occupies a 90-hectare land is expected to produce diesel, kerosene, aviation fuel, naphta and fuel oil.
Ihenacho who is also the former Minister of Interior during Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and presently the Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, stressed the need for the Federal Government to provide enabling environment for operators to ramp up the nation’s refining capacity.
According to him, the 20,000 barrels per day refinery being built by his company would help to reduce importation of refined petroleum products into the country.
He stated that indigenous operators like him need to be encouraged so that they can add value to the economy.
The former minister explained that the support being sought from the government included policy framework that would encourage financial institutions to make funds available to indigenous players intending to build modular refineries.
His words: “Financial support is one major area we need government’s help, if government realises that there is a need to have a lot of the small-scale refineries to turn around the economy. The construction of the refinery requires an investment of over $100 million. So we need government to assist modular refinery operators; we are not asking to be given grants and hand outs but to be assisted in the process of being able to secure financing in the major finance institutions”.
He said the plant would be upgraded to produce premium motor spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, as operations progressed.
The master mariner described full deregulation of the downstream sector as the best option to attract investors.
He said the removal of all hindrances and bottlenecks in the sector was needed for the improvement of private investment and market competitiveness.
“We should note that there is no provision of subsidy payment in the 2017 budget, which calls for government to fully deregulate the downstream sector to attract investors. We need full deregulation of the downstream sector.
“We do not need partial deregulation. I do not understand the so-called price modulation we are seeing and how it can work because presently, it is not working. Government should move from uncertainty to certainty. We have a situation where prices are capped on one hand. Market prices in Nigeria and international market prices are outside the control of our local policy,” he said.