The federal government’s policy of encouraging private sector investors to participate in refining seems to be paying off as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) recently announced its commitment to provide leadership in establishing private refineries.

Chinedu Okoronkwo, IPMAN national president, said in Lagos that the association had acquired more than 1,000 hectares in Kogi and Bayelsa states for the proposed $3 billion (N495 billion) refineries.

IPMAN had earlier in July concluded a business deal with some international investors to build two refineries worth about $3 billion at Itobe, Kogi, and Abbe in Bayelsa. The foreign investors had conducted feasibility studies on the project in August.

Okoronkwo said that the federal government had through Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, welcomed the investor’s initiative to commence work on the two refineries; and tasked the Ministry of Power to support the IPMAN refinery initiative by providing the sites access to the national grid.

He said when completed in 24 months time, the refineries would initially produce about 200,000 barrels of petrol per day.

Okoronkwo said that IPMAN’s aim was to contribute in the management of existing national capital flight that characterized the oil and gas sector following the absence of a functional refinery.

“The cost of taking crude and bringing it back as refined products will be reduced. We want government to give us the necessary licenses and enabling environment to operate,” he said.

Johnson Alabi
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