The United States Trade and Development Agency has commended the management of Eko Petrochemical and Refining Company Limited for the level of work done so far, assuring it of continuous and total support.
USTDA acting Director, Mr. Thomas Hardy, gave the commendation during a project inspection of the 20, 000 barrel per day production capacity modular refinery located at Tomaro Island Port in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
According to Hardy, the agency is impressed with the level of activities done so far on the project.
“We will continue to help in sourcing for financiers through companies in America that will support the project for speedy completion of the refinery.
“We are proud to support this project, and this will lead to infrastructure development and economic growth in Nigeria.
“This project represents an excellent opportunity for US businesses to export technologies and services in support of Nigeria’s refining goals,” he said.
Hardy further said: “In 2017, USTDA invested in the engineering design of Eko Petrochemical Refinery Project on Tomaro Island to make the vision of Captain Iheanacho actualised and a reality.
“The idea is to bring jobs into the Nigerian economy by expanding the petro-chemical industry in the country.
“Generally, strengthening the Nigerian economy became paramount to the success of this project.”
He said the move by the US Government was also to see a closer bilateral co-operation between the US and Nigeria.
“Most importantly, invest in private companies and leaders in the business community. They can move the project to generate jobs and growth in the Nigerian economy.
“I am impressed with what I saw. When we got involved in the very early stage, we knew that there was going to be hurdles.
“So, we decided to invest and bring technical experts into Nigeria to help Iheanacho lay forth the plan he needed to move forward to get the finance to move this project for implementation.
“This is exactly what we intended to do. Our investment is going to be making those connections to finance the sea contracts.
“Anything that can help him achieve his vision for Nigeria and growth of Tomaro Island is our goal right now,” he added.
Also, the Country Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa of USTDA, Ms Shannon Roe, said the agency decided to visit the refinery, adding that that was geared toward creating value and ease reefing project in Nigeria.
Roe said one of the reasons why the agency came for inspection was to see the level of work activities that has taking place since the last time they came in 2017.
She also said he hope that the proposed 200, 000 bpd production refinery would attract more investments to the country and develop host communities.
In his remark, Chairman of Eko Petrochemical Refinery Company, Iheanacho, lauded the USTDA’s support to the growth of the refinery.
Iheanacho said the agency had the mandate to help local companies and trading entities to develop contact with their equivalent counterpart in America.
He said the company had finished with the planning stage, completed with drawing-up of the feasibility map and the detailed work-front engineering which met both the Department of Petroleum Resources and America’s specifications.
The refiner said DPR had given the approval authority to construct, adding that “in the scheme of our current national priorities, the requirement to develop indigenous refining capacity on Nigerian soil is very high indeed.”
The community representative, Chief Lamina Akinsode, said the 24-communities comprising Tomoro Island supported the citing of the refinery on their land.
Akinsode said would bring development and empowerment to their communities.