By Ochuko Akuopha

UGHELLI – MANAGING Director of Onose Refinery Limited, Chief Jim Elueni, has said that the construction work of the 60,000 BPD facility being sited at Omavovwe-Agbarha-Otor community, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, would commence in November 2022.

Making the disclosure during an interactive session with newsmen after the inspection of the site by officials of Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, Elueni expressed optimism that the refinery would be completed and commence operations within the next 18 months.

He said: “We have made a choice to site the refinery at Omavowve, Ughelli North Local Government Area because of nearness to raw materials. Omavovwe is close to Eriemu Manifold where most of the crudes in Delta State converge and run through to Focados Terminal.

“We have secured the land, done our feasibility studies and geotechnical studies. We have equally done topographical survey of the land, we have secured EIA, we are also partnering with First Bank of Nigeria Ltd.

“We are also in partnership with Federal University of Petroleum Resource, Effurun, (FUPRE) here in Delta State to enable technology transfer so as to bring the refinery technology to Nigeria and the Vice Chancellor has been very helpful in preparing the local content aspect of it.

“Also, the refinery is a partnership with Nigeria Local Content Development Monitoring Board. Also, we have secured a crude oil guarantee from NNPC Crude oil.
We are also partnering with NNPC Greenfield. Our financial plans are very viable from the outflow and inflow.

“The scale of the refinery is for 60,000 barrels per day. We initially planned for a 20,000 per day facility until NNPCL expressed the desire to invest and partner with us and they requested that their policy clearly states that for them to partner with a refinery, the refinery must be above 50,000 barrels per day and so the Board of Director of Onose Refinery Ltd agreed and we scaled up to the 60,000 per day refinery.

“I want to thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for the initiative of setting up the NNPCL Ltd and that is what enabled them to be able to partner with us and also the policy of providing crude, because crude is one of the challenges that kept us till now.

“With the government’s initiative and the guarantee of crude, we believe the sky is the limit. I want to specially thank God almighty for bringing us this far, we have come for this inspection by Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulation Authority. The essence is to properly verify wether the proposed land is actually sufficient for the 60,000 bpd so as to enable us start.

“We are going to start the construction by November 2022 and we hope to finish installing everything 18 months. It is so because all the designs, fabrication of the equipments are all going on in the foreign country.

“Only those equipments that they don’t need much will be brought here to fabricate but all other components, the bulbs, valves, heaters etc are all currently being fabricated and we are shipping them in just for installation.

“Our equipments manufacturers are in Europe. We will be able to gainfully employ the teeming population of Delta State and Nigeria. The employment will reduce the rate of crime in Nigeria while improving the level of economic activities of the host communities.”

He expressed hope that with the establishment of the refinery, “Our reliance on importation of refined petroleum products will be reduced drastically and we hope and look forward that with the new policy of this Government Nigeria will be exporting finished products outside the country.”

Also present during the inspection exercise were Dr. Andrews Elueni, Prof. Ezekiel Agbalagba as well as the leadership of Omavovwe Development Union and the community’s elders council.

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