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$50m Ikwe-Onna Modular Refinery to Commence Operation in 2018



  • $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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Increased Demand Paves The Way for Expansion of Africa’s Sugar Industry



Sugar - Investors King

Africa, June 2021:  A new focus report produced by the Oxford Business Group (OBG), in partnership with the International Sugar Organization (ISO), explores the potential that Africa’s sugar industry holds for growth on the back of an anticipated rise in regional demand. The report was presented to ISO members during the MECAS meeting at the Organization’s 58th Council Session, on June 17th 2021.

Titled “Sugar in Africa”, the report highlights the opportunities for investors to contribute to the industry’s development by helping to bridge infrastructure gaps in segments such as farming and refining and port facilities.

The report considers the benefits that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could deliver by supporting fair intra-African sugar trade efforts and bringing regulatory frameworks under a common umbrella, which will be key to improving competitiveness.

The increased international focus on ESG standards is another topical issue examined. Here, the report charts the initiatives already under way in Africa supported by green-focused investment with sustainability at their core, which will help to instil confidence in new investors keen to adhere to ESG principles in their decision-making.

In addition, subscribers will find coverage of the impact that Covid-19 had on the industry, with detailed analysis provided of the decrease in both worldwide sugar production and prices, as movement restrictions and social-distancing measures took their toll on operations.

The report shines a spotlight on sugar production in key markets across the continent, noting regional differences in terms of output and assessing individual countries’ roles as net exporters and importers.

It also includes an interview with José Orive, Executive Director, International Sugar Organisation, in which he maps out the particularities of the African sugar industry, while sharing his thoughts on what needs to be done to promote continental trade and sustainable development.

“The region is well advanced in terms of sugar production overall, but several challenges still hinder its full potential,” he said. “It is not enough to just produce sugar; producers must be able to move it to buyers efficiently. When all negotiations related to the AfCFTA have concluded, we expect greater investment across the continent and a clearer regulatory framework.”

Karine Loehman, OBG’s Managing Director for Africa, said that while the challenges faced by Africa’s sugar producers shouldn’t be underestimated, the new report produced with the ISO pointed to an industry primed for growth on the back of anticipated increased consumption across the continent and higher levels of output in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Regional demand for sugar is expected to rise in the coming years, driven up by Africa’s population growth and drawing a line under declines triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “With sub-Saharan Africa’s per capita sugar consumption currently standing at around half of the global average, the opportunities to help meet increasing domestic need by boosting production are considerable.”

The study on Africa’s sugar industry forms part of a series of tailored reports that OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.

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Global Demand for Investment Gold Plunged by 70% YoY to 161 Metric Tons in Q1 2021



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Last year, investors flocked to gold as stock markets crashed on a gloomy economic outlook due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the second quarter of 2020, global demand for investment gold surged to over 591 metric tons, the second-highest level since 2016. However, the investors’ demand for gold has dropped significantly this year.

According to data compiled by AksjeBloggen, global demand for investment gold plunged by 70% year-over-year to 161 metric tons in the first quarter of 2021.

The Lowest Quarterly Figures after Record Gold Investments in 2020

In 2016, the global gold demand amounted to 4,309 metric tons, revealed Statista and the World Gold Council data. By the end of 2019, this figure rose to 4,356 metric tons. Investment gold accounted for 30% of that amount. Worldwide gold jewelry demand volumes reached 2,118 metric tons that year. Central banks and technology followed with 648 and 326 metric tons, respectively.

Statistics show the global demand for investment gold surged amid the COVID-19 outbreak, growing by 35% YoY to almost 1,800 metric tons in 2020. Demands for gold used in technology also rose by 17% to 383.4 metric tons, while central banks and other institutions bought 326.2 metric tons of gold in 2020, a 50% plunge in a year.

However, after record gold investments in 2020, the global demand for gold for investment purposes dropped to the lowest quarterly level in years.

The Price of Gold Dropped by 5% Since January

The average gold value tends to increase during a recession, making it an attractive investment in uncertain times. In February 2019, a troy ounce of gold cost $1,320.07, revealed the Statista and World Gold Council data. By the end of that year, the price of gold rose to $1,479.13.

The gold price continued growing throughout 2020, reaching an all-time high of over $2,000 in August. By the end of the year, the precious metal price slipped to $1,864 and then rose to over $1,950 in January 2021.

However, the first quarter of the year brought a negative trend, with the price of gold falling to $1,684 by the end of March. Statistics indicate the price of gold stood at around $1,860 last week, a 5% drop since the beginning of the year.

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Gold, Other Safe Haven Assets Plunge Ahead of Fed Rate Hikes



Gold and Bitcoin - Investors King

Gold and other safe-haven assets plunged last week as the Federal Reserve signals the possibility of raising interest rates twice in 2023 given the ongoing economic recovery post-COVID-19.

The price of gold dropped by 6.04 percent last week as investors rushed to move their funds out of safe-haven assets including the new gold, cryptocurrency.

The entire crypto space sheds $898 billion in market value to hover around $1.625 trillion last week, down from $2.523 trillion recorded on Wednesday 12, 2021. Its highest market capitalisation till date.

The Federal Reserve raised inflation expectations to 3.4 percent and shifted the year it is expected to increase interest rates from near-zero to 2023 from the previously projected 2024.

The new hawkish stance of the central bank led to capital outflow from safe havens and subsequently boosted dollar attraction.

The United States Dollar gained across the board with the dollar index that tracks its performance against six major currencies, rising by 0.63 percent to 91.103 last week.

However, on Monday morning the gold showed signs of recovery, gaining 0.5 percent to $1,772.34 per ounce following the retreat in U.S. treasury yield that boosted the attraction of non-yielding metal.

Bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency coin, pared losses to $33,245 per coin, up from the $32,658 decline it posted last week.

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