15 January 2016, Lagos — A Nigerian firm, Epic Refinery Group has signed a consulting agreement with a foreign firm, Chiron Refineries, for the completion of the construction of a 100,000 barrel refinery that is expected to provide employment for 100,000 Nigerians.
The agreement according to the Managing Director of Epic refinery, Barango Mathew Wenke Jnr., was necessitated following the granting of license for operations to the company by the Federal Government.
He said Epic Refinery Group is aware of the hardship and the needs of Nigerians and has taken a decision to commence operation of constructing a relocation refinery on its site in Bayelsa state.
He said his group has signed a consulting agreement with Mr Kuperberg and his company in order to find the best match for Epic’s location, saying the future is Brownfied, as opposed to Greenfield, to find a lasting solution to the energy problems in Nigeria.
The agreement for the construction of the refinery was sealed in Lagos by representatives of both companies led by the Wenke Jnr. and Managing Director of Chiron Refineries, Ron Kuperberg, an expert on relocation and assets management.
According to the President/CEO of Epic Refinery Group, Barango Mathew Wenke Jnr., the initiative is his company’s response to the growing demand for refined products in the country, in the midst of the sharp decline in the price of crude oil in the international market.
He further noted that with the forecast that the price of crude oil may further drop to below USD20, it is imperative for the country to commence refining of its crude.
It is also to meet the country’s increasing demand and in view of the government encouragement to proceed with a relocation as opposed to a Greenfield.
Recall that the Federal Government and Epic Refinery and Petrochemical Industries recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a refinery with the capacity to create 100,000 new jobs.
Epic refinery boss had said tthat the firm would inject 7.5 million dollars into the project.
He was quoted to have said, “The impact of this project can never be over emphasised with an anticipated creation of over 100,000 jobs and more than 180 petrol stations across the nation.
“With electricity generation of over 500 megawatts and their multiplier effects on the economy, no one is in doubt of the enormous benefits of this project to the country and Africa as a whole,” he said.
He said funding for the project is guaranteed and that the promoters have blocked the first $30 billion for the project meant for upstream, midstream and downstream. “We have already proposed a jet at Akasa from the Atlantic ocean where the government has approved as oil and gas free trade zone. This is just 60 kilometres to our base within the brass area free trade oil and gas zone.
“The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has inspected and approved the land, a massive land at Okporoma. There had been delay on the issuance of the licence because some big people had sat on it which had delayed fund to be released. It is a direct foreign investment.
The resources may be slim, but we are ready to emulate the big names. We worked hard to get here. We got the licence on June 15,” he said.
*Godfrey Bivbere – Vanguard