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The Emekuku-Imo state oil magnet,Capt Emmanuel Iheanacho’s hope of realisig the $25omillion ( N90bn) Eko Refinery and Petrochemical project brightens following the commencement of detailed analysis of supporting technologies and engineering works of the private refinery.
The oil and gas entrepreneur made this known to the Press Wednesday in Lagos.
According to Capt Iheanacho, the 20,000bpd crude oil refinery project site at the Tomaro Industrial Park and Free Trade Zone in Lagos was designed to boost refining capacity in the country.
Continuing he said that the United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA) had provided $797,343 as initial funding for the take-off of the Refinery project for its detailed engineering design.
The grant as provided covers the cost for feasibility studies, supporting technologies and development of an implementation plan for a modular refinery on Tomaro Island in Lagos.
“The Eko Petrochemicals and Refining Company selected Texas-based VFuels, LLC to advance the 20,000 barrels per day modular refinery.
“The modular refinery will promote infrastructure development by increasing Nigeria’s local refining capacity.
“The USTDA was proud to support this new project, which will lead to infrastructure development and enhance economic growth in Nigeria.
“This project represents an excellent opportunity for U.S. businesses to export technologies and services in support of Nigeria’s refining goals,’’ said the Emekuku-born oil and gas business magnet.
The Imo State-born entrepreneur who also chairs Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd,aside Genesis Worldwide Shiping appealed to the Federal Government to come up with a policy framework making it possible for financial institutions to make funds available to indigenous players that intend to build modular refineries.
Moreso, he called on the government to provide the enabling environment for the integrated oil and gas company to achieve its ongoing 20,000 barrels modular refinery target.
The Integrated oil boss said that despite granting licenses to potential investors, several factors have hindered the actual take off of many of such projects.
He lamented that paucity of funds has become a major hindrance to the take off of such projects as the investors with licenses have so far failed to start-up process.
“Local banks are not willing to fund such projects as they express fears about local capacity to manage such projects.
“We have proved to posses the technical competence and engineering capabilities, yet finance is a major problem here.
“We can now start exporting refined products than we are currently importing. Government should make provision for financing because it is a key requirement to do 20,000 barrels per day,” he quipped.