…as Etop modular refinery in Delta passes EIA test
By Festus Ahon
THE Federal Government has restated its commitment to the development and establishment of modular refineries in the country.
Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Mahmoud who stated this during the public review of the Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA report on the proposed Etopo Refinery Plc at Obotebe in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, however, said that set standards must be met before approvals.
Represented by a Director in the ministry, Mr Abbas Suleiman, the Minister commended Etopo Refinery Plc for the initiative and at ensuring that the mandatory EIA exercise was carried out before taken any further step for the take-off of the project.
Mahmoud noted that the project would create employment, enhancing the economic fortunes of the people, generate revenue for government at all levels as well as reduce importation of diesel and allied refined products.
The Chairman of the EIA panel, Mr Samuel Ogunjemilusi said health, social and environmental hazards must be considered before approval for the establishment of a modular refinery and commended Etopo Refinery plc for keeping to global best practices in that regards.
Ogunjemilusi said: “I must thank stakeholders for their robust participation and meaningful contributions at ensuring the smooth take-off of Etopo refinery at Obotebe town in Delta State”.
Other members of the panel, including Prof. Mohammed Babagara, Miss Uvie Igini who represented the Commissioner for Environment Delta State, Mr Clement Biribai, the representative of the Chairman, Burutu local government council, Mr Victor Ladele and Engr. K. A Adeniyi said the project will create both direct and indirect employment in the locality.
The paramount ruler of Obotebe Kingdom, King Emmanuel Warewini Arikawei said: “the establishment of a 30,000 tons barrel per day Modular Refinery in Obotebe, comes with enormous benefits, particularly to communities in the coastal areas of Delta State as well as generate revenues for government”.
While commending the EIA panel team for a hitch-free exercise, the monarch said panel’s affirmation and recommendation of the establishment of Etopo Refinery would spur the management to take further steps to bring the project to fruition.
He said: “I sincerely thank Samuel Ogunjemilusi and his team for their professionalism in the EIA process which lasted for about a year. The completion of the hitch-free exercise will spur the management to take next measures in the smooth takeoff of Etopo refinery at Obotebe.
“The socio-economic benefits of the project can not be overemphasized and there is no doubt of its sustainability. All that is required is collaboration and support of stakeholders”.