The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has approved a grant of $1 million (about N360 million) for the detailed engineering design of 20,000 barrel per day (bpd) modular refinery in Lagos.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, who 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 barrels per day (bpd) production refinery would attract more investments to the country and develop host communities.
‘‘The grant was meant for detail engineering design and development of the proposed refinery in Tomaro Industrial Park in Lagos. ‘‘I feel honoured to be part of the success story. I also promised to support the projects to actualisation,” he said.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria commended the Chairman of Integrated Oil and Gas, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, for his commitment to the project.
Iheaneacho noted that the investment was coming at a time when the country needed it most. He also praised the Federal Government for believing in the power of the individual citizens and entrepreneurs to undertake laudable projects for the nation’s development.
According to him, the Eko Petrochem and Refining Company would complement efforts of the Federal Government in providing 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 to us.
‘‘The grant is to be specially used to finance the completion of the detailed analysis of supporting technologies and engineering for the implementation of 20,000 bpd crude oil refinery,” he said.
The chairman stated that in making the proposal, it was reasoned that the localisation of refining capacity if realised, would facilitate the conservation of scarce foreign exchange whilst generating major export earnings.
He said that there would also be enhanced economic value added opportunities to be realised in terms of jobs, profits and technology transfer which would become manifest.
‘‘We are delighted by the USTDA award as it seems the U.S. Government and the trade agency have by this gesture, recognised the economic and development potential of our ongoing modular refinery project and the Tomaro Industrial Park/Free Trade Zone which today comes into formal existence. ‘‘By delivering this grant, the agency has demonstrated its commitment to the infrastructure development and economic growth of Nigeria, especially in the areas of export technologies and services that promote the country’s refining capacity,’’ he said.
The Managing Director, VFuels, Mr Souheil Abboud, said the company was proud to partner the USTDA to actualise the fruition of the refinery. According to him, ‘‘we believe very strongly in our commitment to serving the Nigerian people and are enthusiastic that the USTDA shares the same vision and commitment.’’
He said the refinery would be a model for those looking to improve Nigeria’s local refining capacity and would contribute to the growing demand for fuel and electricity.
The USTDA helps companies to create the US jobs through the export of the US goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies.
The 116 million dollars project to produce 20,000 barrel capacity modular refinery is located at Tomaro Island Port, off Takwa Bay in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.