Five months after it got a License To Establish (LTE) a refinery from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Integrated Oil and Gas Limited at the weekend said its $116 million refinery would be a reference point in Nigeria.
The latest move to increase domestic refining capacity was disclosed by the Group Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Anthony Iheanacho, during a facility tour to the refinery complex in Lagos at the weekend. This is even as the 20,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery is coming at a period when stakeholders have faulted the move by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to establish co-location refineries and rather advised them to give support to holders of modular refinery licenses.
The GMD said the company has submitted its Front End Engineering Design (FEED) to DPR and was awaiting approval to move to the Authority to Construct (ATC) stage.
Iheanacho said contrary to criticisms that modular refineries are not economical, the reverse is the case because such refineries have lesser risk exposure compared to bigger refineries.
‘‘It may interest you to know that petrol production is the last stage of any refinery. All other petroleum products come before petrol. So to say that it is only petrol that a modular refinery can produce is totally untrue,” he said.
Upon completion, he said the refinery to be sited at Tomaro in Irede community, Lagos, will produce naphtha Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Household Kerosene (HHK), Low Fuel Pour Oil (LFPO), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and later petrol.
He explained further that the refinery is to be built on 90 hectares of land and is to have a huge strategic reserve, ship repair yard, flour mills and a helipad to cater for its aviation business logistics.
And to ensure that the project is safe for the Tomaro community, he said a stakeholders meeting comprising the community leaders, DPR, Lagos State government officials and the local government will tomorrow (Tuesday) brainstorm on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project.
The Integrated Oil boss equally cleared the air on stories making the rounds that the project has impacted negatively on the Tomaro community, saying construction was yet to begin on the site.
“I am surprised how a project still at the site clearing stage would have started impacting negatively on the environment. The publication by this online medium is targeted at smearing our name and is aimed at pitching us against the Tomaro community that is eager to see us begin construction work because of the immense benefit it will bring to its people,” he said.
Recall that stakeholders at a recent industry event called on the Federal Government to provide the necessary support to companies, which included Integrated Oil and Gas that are investing in modular refineries in a bid to make the country self-sufficient in local production of petroleum products.
They tasked government to provide incentives to such firms and market them to the international community in a bid to attract the much-canvassed Foreign Direct Investment