The Edo Modular Refinery project, which is at its completing stage in Ologbo, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State has come timely following the closure of the four oil refineries in the country, stakeholders’ have said.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, on Wednesday, disclosed that the four oil refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, were closed because they are functioning below capacity and it had thus become necessary to stop them from operating altogether.
This is coming barely three weeks after a Federal Government delegation led by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Edobor Iyamu, inspected the Edo Modular Refinery to ascertain its level of readiness.
The Modular Refinery, which is the outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration and a Chinese consortium, will produce from its feedstock 50 per cent of diesel (500,000 litres), 25 per cent of naphtha (300,000 litres), and 20 percent of fuel oil (200,000 litres) as soon as it starts production anytime soon.
However, stakeholders have said it has come timely following the closure of all the government-owned refineries in the country.
A top player in the Edo State branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Daniel Ojo, said the establishment of a modular refinery in the country is long overdue.
He added that the Governor Obaseki-led administration has set the ball rolling for the establishment of more modular refineries in the country to augment the ailing government-owned refineries.
Ojo said: “You can see that the establishment of the Edo Modular has come timely. Just when it is about to start producing, the Federal Government is closing all its refineries for a complete upgrade. The implication is that we would soon have a functional refinery in the country.
“Other states that have crude oil in the Niger Delta region should establish modular refineries to crash the cost of petroleum products in the country.”
The Vice-Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Edo State, Comrade Eddy Ossai, had earlier said that the modular refinery goes beyond Edo, adding that it will also boost the country’s economy.
“This will be a very big boost on the state’s economy because automatically the Internally Generated Revenue will jerk up. Besides, there will be massive job opportunities for citizens. It will be a plus for the government and the oil and gas sector in the state.
“It will also help us to conserve our foreign reserves by reducing the demand for dollars to purchase finished petroleum products from other countries. So, it goes beyond Edo State,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Edobor Iyamu, had during his visit said the establishment of the refinery in the state is in line with the new vision for the Niger Delta, to ensure that the people benefit maximally from the wealth in the region.
Iyamu added that the project is aimed at promoting the establishment of modular refinery projects in the area to attract investment into the oil and gas sector.