The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) is set to commence work on its proposed $3 billion (N1.08 trillion) refinery in two states of the federation. The National President of the association, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday. IPMAN had in July 2014, acquired over 1,000 hectares of land to build refineries that would produce 200,000 barrels of petrol per day at Itobe in Kogi and Abbe in Bayelsa.
Okoronkwo said the project which ought to have started two years ago was delayed, due to leadership tussle in the association, adding that the project would commence now that the leadership issues had been resolved. The IPMAN boss said that the leadership of the association had commenced discussion with investors and technical partners on how the project could commence forthwith, noting that the association remained committed to the project.
“Our N3 billion dollars refinery project would soon commence as we are discussing with our investors and technical partners. “We are pursuing it very strongly because we believe in the success of the refinery. We bought 1,000 hectares of land in Kogi and Bayelsa, the states have been given approvals. “Once government approvals and consent have been given, we are ready to move to the site and commence production.”
Okoronkwo said that foreign investors had conducted feasibility studies on the project in order to commence full operation. He said that IPMAN’s aim was to contribute its quota as a stakeholder in the project to reduce the level of capital flight by foreign investors that characterised the oil and gas sector. “The cost of exporting crude oil and bringing back refined products will be reduced. “We want government to give us the necessary licences and ensure an enabling environment to operate.’’
Okoronkwo urged the Federal Government to invest more in modular refineries as a way to end fuel scarcity. He said that the modular refineries could help to address shortfalls in fuel supply, pending when additional refineries would be built.