Edobor Iyamu, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President in charge of Niger Delta Affairs, on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the pace of work at the OPAC refinery located in Delta State.
A statement in Abuja by Idang Alibi, the Director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, said the government assured the investors of its support to ensure completion of the project.
According to him, everything within government capacity will be done to ensure that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its agencies support OPAC Refinery and other investors to ensure the sustainability of jobs creation.
The statement quoted Iyamu as saying “the present administration is extremely interested in the economic development of the Niger Delta.
Iyamu said: “Therefore, it is imperative for the petroleum sector to utilise such opportunity to improve Nigeria’s energy security, and also provide and guarantee job creation in the region.’’
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, was represented on the site by Rabiu Suleiman, his Senior Technical Adviser on Refineries and Downstream Infrastructure.
Kachikwu said the inspection was in furtherance of the Federal Government’s commitment to improving domestic refining capacity and ongoing efforts in the support of the establishment of third party-financed Modular refineries.
He commended the local investors and their partners for the initiative and commitment, affirming that he was impressed and satisfied by what he had seen the speed and quality of work.
The minister of state advised that the pace of work should be maintained to ensure the project was completed on schedule.
According to him, the project is a huge development and government will do all that is necessary to provide support in making sure this project is completed on schedule as planned.
He said: “Aside jobs creation for the immediate communities, the project will alleviate the economic fortunes of the surrounding villages and communities.
“When the refinery plants become operational, the products produced will help improve the challenges associated with importation, supply and distribution of petroleum products in country.’’
The chairman of OPAC Refinery, Momoh Oyarekhua, expressed appreciation at the interest and support given to the project by the Federal Government.
He assured that apart from OPAC refinery helping to bridge the needs of fuel consumption in Nigeria, the host community will also benefit from jobs and other auxiliary businesses that is expected to be attracted to the area.
Oyarekhua said: “The first phase is designed for 7,000 barrels per day. When completed, it is expected to produce Heavy Fuel Oil, Naphtha, Automotive Gas Oil and Kerosene.
“Based on crude availability, the refinery will be upgraded in two phases: – the first phase will be the installation of two additional modules of 7,000 bpd to bring the refining capacity to 21,000 barrels per day.
“This phase is planned for implementation within one year from commissioning of the first phase.
“Subsequently, a 40,000barrels per day conventional refinery will be added to this project and will be designed to produce Premium Motor Spirit in the nearest possible future.’’
OPAC Refinery site is located at Umuseti, Kwale, Delta State.