Core investor in the emerging Eko Petrochem & Refining, the special purpose company handling the Greenfield refinery project for Integrated Oil & Gas Group, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, has provided fresh insight on why the scheme is running in Lagos and not somewhere in Imo, his home state.
It would be recalled that the final sets of agreement for the real take off of construction activities at Tomaro Island, off the coast of Apapa Port Zone was sealed last week, shortly after all necessary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approvals had been secured from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
The deal was signed between the host community, US partners and management of Integrated Oil & Gas, lead by Capt. Iheanacho.
In an exclusive interview on the choice of location, Iheanacho said “I am glad you guys got around talking about my refinery project. Perhaps I can give you some additional heads up on the project and the unique factors which determine its location”.
“I have a license to develop a 20,000 bpd modular refinery at a specific coastal location in Lagos state. The refinery is one of a number of marine infrastructure development projects which I currently have in conception.
Continuing, he opened up saying “Were it possible to locate some of these projects in Imo, I would have gladly done so but unfortunately, due to the marine specific nature of the contemplated developments, non can be sited in Imo. As a general rule refineries are usually sited in coastal locations because of the need to facilitate the supply of crude feedstock to the refinery by supply tanker vessels”.
“Refined fractions are also evacuated from the refinery by sea. Sadly, Imo state does not have a seaport or other maritime infrastructure that could serve as a basis for a decision to bring these investments home.
“In some cases, a refinery may be built in the hinterland, away from the coast. This may occur where the investor has an ownership interest in a marginal field from where they can source the feedstock. They would also need to have a number of flow stations in close proximity to the field through which they would have to reprocess any naphtha through reinjection into the crude stream.
“Unfortunately, I don’t own a marginal field and cannot therefore consider building a refinery in the hinterland.
“I hope I have given our people an insight into the factors which determined the investment location decision. Please get our people to pray for our success. They would derive great benefits from the programme if our plans are ultimately successful,” Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho explained.
Already, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), during the signing ceremony announced the approval of $1m (N360m) grant for the detailed engineering design of the 20,000 barrel per day modular refinery.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, disclosed this during the official signing of the agreement in Lagos, commended the initiative of Eko Petrochem and Refining Company’s management.
Symington expressed the hope that the proposed 200, 000 bpd production refinery would attract more investments to the country and develop host communities.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria commended the Chairman of Integrated Oil and Gas, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, for his commitment to the project.
Capt. Iheaneacho said the Eko Petrochem and Refining Company would complement efforts of the Federal Government in providing a lasting solution to the problems of importation of refined petroleum products into the country.
He said that the U.S. Government, acting through the USTDA, has accelerated the process of the planned economic investments through the industrial development grant of one million dollars, which it had seen fit to bestow upon us.