Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, Chairman Eko Petrochemical Refinery Ltd.
Chairman, Eko Petrochemical Refinery Ltd., Captain Emmanuel lheanacho has expressed the company’s readiness to tap into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s forex window to support local refiners in the country on importation of equipment.
Iheanacho who lauded the CBN governor’s good intention to assist modular refiners in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos was a welcome development.
NAN recalls that on January 20, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefile during his visit to Dangote efinery said that bank was ready to support modular refiners in the country in naira and in dollar that they needed to import those equipment.
According to Iheanacho, conceiving and developing a refinery is all material times, a very complex and difficult undertaking which requires lots of funds, technical knowhow and managerial capacity. “Whatever help we can get from anywhere to ease the burden of project implementation, we will gladly reach for it. If the CBN is as you say, indeed poised to offer assistance by way of grants, loan or forex supply at preferential rates for the imports of refining machinery and equipment, we will be very pleased to apply for this sort of welcome assistance. The delivery of this assistance will go a long way toward enduring the success of our refinery investment and development proposals.”
He said such statement by the CBN Governor might be true but stressed the need to sensitise more Nigerians on the CBN’s support for industry.
Ihenacho noted,” I think that the problem arises from the fact that news of the existence of such support for refinery infrastructure development assistance from the CBN has not been generally well known. Now that the news is becoming common place and thanks in great measure to your insightful reporting. We shall most certainly be reaching out to the CBN governor with detailed information of our project together with the report of progress achieved so far, to see where and how the bank can assist us to realise our plan objectives.”
Captain Ihenacho who is also the Chairman of Integrated Oil and Gas Company said “Our next plan of development action post receipt of the authority to construct and the nature of the assistance which we expect to receive from the CBN and other national financing and development institutions are matters which would fully engage our management’s attention in the coming few weeks and months.”
He said having received the authority to construct by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the company would now proceeds with dispatch to the next stage of the development plan which is the fund raiser stage.
He stated further that the company plans to be physically breaking ground shortly concurrent with its progress with the fund raising initiatives.
According to him, from an engineering perspective, apart from the launching and pursuit of the fundraiser effort, he intends shortly to take stock of and review the inventory of both the design inside and outside battery limit equipment and structures.
The company will subsequently prepare a bid package and other documents which would facilitate its requirements to put out a tender for a fixed fee proposal, based on the DPR approved and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
Iheanacho added there would be financed detailed design plan for the necessary fabrication work to interested, qualified engineering, procurement and construction contractors and funding challenges could not be limited to modular refineries specifically.
In his words, “I think that at all material times, there are always more investment proposals being articulated than there are funds to execute them. What creates the priority in terms of who gets what, is determined by perceptions of the financial and social returns from a particular project. In the scheme of our current national priorities, the requirement to develop indigenous refining capacity on Nigerian soil is very high indeed.
He was of the view that “Local refining capacity would allow us realise our ambitions with respect to import substitution potentials leading to great savings in scarce forex requirements , local refiners would facilitate the goals of value addition to our oil trade as well as lead to lower costs of consumed refined products in the country. We intend to have recourse to traditional and special funding sources in our search for investment funds for our refinery development project.”
“What is important is for us to articulate credible development proposals, based on clear-cut, tangible tested economic and market criteria, showing the profitability, job creation, technology transfer and other value adding potentials which would derive from the success of our unique refinery development and investment initiative, he added.”
NAN reports that Emefiele urged other private refinery licensees to develop the capacity to build more refineries.
The CBN governor said, “I have not seen any licensee approach the bank for credit to build refinery. Remember, such licensee will approach his bank which will in turn assess his capacity to build such refinery and such request will be forwarded to the CBN for approval. If they have the capacity, we will support them through their banks.”
The proposed Eko Petrol Chemical Refinery Company 20,000 barrel per day production capacity modular refinery is located at Tomaro Island Port, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos and it worths 250-million dollar (N90 billion).