By Omon-Julius Onabu
Indications have emerged that one of the modular refineries expected to complement existing structures in petroleum products refining in the country will commence its operations as early as August 2021.
Managing Director, Alexis Refinery, Mr. Joewy Obue, disclosed this while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of an all-inclusive stakeholders scoping workshop on Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA), yesterday in Asaba, to determine the likely positive or negative impact of the proposed Alexis (Modular) Refinery project located at Abuator, Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.
Obue assured that the modular project was conceived and designed as business enterprise that had taken adequate steps to avoid the pitfalls of the past where communities were pitted against oil companies.
He said that the Delta State Government with at least 10 per cent equity shares, the primary host community of Abuator, the neighbouring communities of Abalaga, Aboh, Beneku and Okpai as well as the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Content Management and Development Commission (NCMDC) were among stakeholders in the project.
“The communities are an integral part of part of the project; they are stakeholders in the project. They are all being carried along in the spirit of the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with a lot of local content,” he stated.
In his comments, Executive Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu, said that the state government would not only ensure that an enabling environment was provided but would also ensure that the local economy is protected, in terms of fair share and jobs.
“Delta State Government has at least 10 per cent equity shares in the project, which has already been approved by the State EXCO,” Emu stressed, adding, “That definitely is a major commitment to the project.”
Speaking earlier, a representative of Alexis Refinery, Mr. Duru Ikechukwu, explained that the site for the project at Abuator in Ndokwa East was chosen on the advice of Agip, which would also field the refinery with the projected 10,000 barrels of crude to be refined daily.
Besides environmental, social and health issues, other crucial aspects as legal issues and quality assurance based on scientific laboratory analysis are being undertaken in the process paving the way for the commencement of operations by the refinery by August next year.
Alexis Refinery is an indigenous company, which was incorporated in Nigeria in 2017 to provide petrochemical services in the midstream of the oil and gas sector as a petroleum refinery.
The highpoint of the scoping impact assessment workshop in Asaba was a presentation by Onyinye Okafor, a representative of Osten Laboratory Ltd, one of the consulting firms to the company.
The conference was attended by representatives of the federal and state ministries of environment, respectively, beside representatives of various communities involved, including former speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Olise Mmegu, the chairman of Beneku Community, Obi Opune, the general secretary of Abalaga Community, Hon Ignatius Obi, a principal scientist from the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Gift Omvoh and Mr. Duru Ikechukwu of Alexis Refinery.