- $50m Ikwe-Onna Modular Refinery to Commence Operation in 2018
In the next two years, Ikwe, a remote community in Onna local government area of Akwa Ibom State will come alive as the $50million modular refinery is expected to commence full operation.
A ground breaking and location inspection for the historic refinery in the area was performed by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel with the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu, captains of industry, top executives in the oil and gas sector among the dignitaries that attended the event.
The multi-million dollars refinery called Ikwe-Onna Modular refinery occupying a total of 50.1 hectares of land is said to be a model to boost modular refinery in the country and is expected to commence operation in 2018 with daily production capacity of 5,000 barrel of oil.
The Minister of Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Onu, who was represented by Mr. Ini Nya of the Technology Incubation Centre of the Ministry said that the approval for the establishment of the refinery in the area was government agenda to encourage local contents development in the oil and gas sector.
“The federal government will assist any entrepreneur, innovation, technology and partnership that the private sector has and they want to come in with the federal government, the government is very pleased about it and will support the initiative of the company.
“There are always policies in place for the establishment of refineries in the country and except you have all these policies in place and pass through the due process before you start anything, the federal government will be very angry with whatever you are doing.
“For now the federal government is fighting hard to ensure that bunkering and militancy stops. They don’t have the licence or capacity to go into production and because they do not have that capacity, the federal government is doing everything to ensure that militancy comes to an end”, the Minister said in an interview.
The Board Chairman of the company, Mr. Bassey Rex, said Ikwe-Onna Refinery “is prepared with the intention to show our support and active pursuance of the state government industrialisation plan for Akwa Ibom State.”
The Managing Director of the Ikwe- Onna refinery, Mr. Daminago Ogaji, who shed more light on the project, said the “Ikwe Onna Rifinery is a modular which the federal government is looking at to showcase in all parts of the Niger Delta because Ikwe-Onna Refinery is 100 percent a Niger Delta owned company.”
“We are determined and ready to use our position to drive a unique industrial revolution, being one of the foremost local content refinery promoters in Nigeria and in West Africa to deepen refining capacity of Nigeria and indeed Africa.’’
According to him, on completion, the refinery will produce 5,000 barrels per day and will be beefed up to 20, 000 bpd in medium -term and is expected to hit 100,000 bpd in long term.
He added: “The Model is very different as we bring in the community as co-partners of what we are doing here. They share 10 percent of what we have. So we work symbiotically.
“If you talk of militancy how do you address it without them being part of you and that is the way forward, getting the local community as part owners and we work together as a family.’’
Speaking on engaging the host community in the project, he said: “We intend to also train the local boys because you will find out that there is going to be primarily local content developed company with everything more than 80 percent will be done locally.
“Tank farms, pipelines and others will be done locally. The only thing that comes from outside is less than 30 of the cost. So we only do that for the first model. We will study it and try to develop on that and see how we can build things locally.
“A modular refinery like this will require 30 or more man power requirement as its still small but by the time you build up the manpower requirement will step up.”
On his part, the governor lauded the management of the Ikwe-Onna refinery limited saying it was in line with the vison of the state government to industrialise the state.
Emmanuel who was represented by Chairman, Foreign Direct Investment Committee, Mr. Gabriel Ukpeh, noted that bring the refinery project to the state is a prove of conducive atmosphere provided by the state government for investors to come to the state.
“This project will open up this area to a wide range of economic activities. It will also create jobs for the teeming youths of this area and its environs.
“I, therefore, urge the youths of this community to maintain the peace and deep sense of cooperation with the contractors and be good ambassadors of this community.
“We have endeavoured to keep our campaign promises by executing a number of laudable projects in infrastructure, agriculture and in investment. We shall continue to keep our eyes on the ball. No one can pull us down”, the Governor stressed.
COVID-19 Plunges Nigeria’s Oil Revenue by 41% in the First Nine Months of 2020
Nigeria’s oil revenue declined by 41.44 percent in the first nine months of 2020 to $2.033 billion, according to the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
This represents a decline of 41.44 percent from $3.47 billion filed in the same period of 2019 when there was no COVID-19.
In the September 2020 edition of NNPC’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR), revenue from oil and gas rose by 16 percent to $120.49 million in the month of September, a 66 percent or $234.81 million drop from $355.3 million posted in the same month of 2019.
The global lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic plunged Nigeria’s crude oil sales and global demand for the commodity. This was further compounded by Nigeria’s high cost of production compared to Saudi Arabia, Russia and others that were offering discounts to boost sales during one of the most challenging periods in human history.
Experts like Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, President of Nigeria Association of Energy Economics, NAEE, were not surprised with the drop in earnings given the effect of COVID-19 on the world’s economy.
She, however, called for the revamp of the nation’s petroleum sector laws and diversification of the economy away from oil revenue dependence. She said “Covid-19 made 2020 a very hot year and it battered the oil industry internationally and we are not an exception; so we could not have been unaffected”.
She also said the effect of the fall “is definitely a wake-up call; we have to diversify, strengthen our other resources and capabilities”.
Omorogbe, a former NNPC Board Secretary, urged the government and the operators in the sector to look inward and think strategically, stating: “think medium term, think of where they want to be and the government, above all, must think of how best we can utilize our resources, so that we can achieve our objectives once we know and define them.
“It is a clear wake-up call, if not we will just sit here and find that we have become one of the poorest nations in the world”, she noted.
Crude Oil, Other Commodities Closing Price for Monday
Brent crude oil, Nigeria’s crude oil benchmark, gained 47 cents to $55.88 per barrel on Monday, while the US crude oil expanded by 50 cents to $52.77 per barrel.
Gold for February delivery fell $1 to $1,855.20 an ounce. Silver for March delivery fell 7 cents to $25.48 an ounce and March copper was little changed at $3.63 a pound.
The dollar fell to 103.80 Japanese yen from 103.83 yen. The euro fell to $1.2139 from $1.2167.
Wholesale gasoline for February delivery rose 1 cent to $1.56 a gallon. February heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.59 a gallon. February natural gas rose 16 cents to $2.60 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
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