All is set for the foundation laying ceremony of Azikel Refinery by former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State today.
The licence for the refinery was approved in 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari shortly after assuming office.Â
According to a statement issued by Corporate Affairs Services Department of Azikel Group and signed by its spokesperson,Â Mr. Austin Ebipade, the privately owned refinery which is 65% completed is expected to take off by 2019 and would be the first of its kind in the country.Â
The Azikel Refinery is managed by Azikel Petroleum Limited, a subsidiary of the Azikel Group, which is also in the business of Dredging, Aviation and Power.
On work done so far, the statement noted that the volume of accomplished task in the phase I task referred to as the Outside Battery Limit (OSBL) and the Inside Battery Limit (ISBL) was about 65% completed.
The refinery is situated on a 19.9 hectares of virgin swamp forest, that is waterlogged and below sea level. The swamp land had been sand-filled and work has commenced.
According to the President of the Group,Â Dr. Azibapu Eruani,Â the refinery when completed would address the issue of persistent scarcity of refined products with the production of petrol,Â aviation fuel,Â kerosene and diesel.
He said his belief in the role of the private sector in boosting the nation’s economic growth informed his decision to embark on the venture which is projected to create hundreds of jobs in and outside the Niger Delta region.Â
Prominent Nigerians including foreign investors are already in Yenagoa for the event which is slated to start byÂ 11 amÂ today.Â