Director of Eton Finance Private Ltd, Allan Rennie
By Paul Obi
As Nigeria continues to grapple with the challenges associated with petroleum products distribution, Eton Group in conjunction with Qua Petroleum Refinery Ltd is to invest about $1.7 billion in the construction of a greenfield refinery in Akwa Ibom State.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the agreement in Abuja, Director of Eton Finance Private Ltd, Allan Rennie, said when operational, the refinery will produce about 100,000 barrel per day.
He explained that, “the financing by the Eton Group is for $1.7 billion, while $1.4 billion represents funds for the re-engineering and construction of the export designated refinery for Qua Petroleum Refinery.”
Rennie, who stated that $300 million had been earmarked for start-up, operations and feed stock, maintained that “the financing is in form of joint venture funding with both companies working together to realise the goals of the project.”
The deal will complete all financial and administrative formalities within the next two months, after which, re-engineering, approval for fabrication and construction phases will be provided before the end of the year.
Also speaking, representative of Qua Petroleum Refinery, Essien Ekanem, said when approval is received from the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the construction of the refinery is expected to last 18 to 24 months, with first production billed for late 2014 or early 2015.
Ekanem told journalists that the refinery will be constructed with the hope of producing approximately 750 direct jobs with 4,000 to 7,000 jobs created externally through various support functions.
When fully constructed, the refinery has a designed capacity to produce LPG, petrol, kerosene, diesel, heavy fuel oil, lubricating oils, greases and bitumen.
Both parties explained that notwithstanding the prevailing security challenge in the country, the location of the refinery in Ibeno Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State will not in any way hamper the prospect of the project.
Eton Group, a major financier of the project has presence in the USA, Malaysia, Japan, UK and operate in Nigeria under the auspices of the Niger-Delta Refinery and Petrochemicals Company Ltd.