By Emma Addeh and Peter Uzoho
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, has said the 2,500 barrels per day modular refinery under construction at Egbokor, Edo State by Duport Midstream Company Limited in partnership with the NCDMB will be ready for inauguration in the last quarter of 2021.
Wabote disclosed this recently, during his visited to the project site to assess the progress of work on the fabrication of the tank farms, civil works, pipeline installation and other site preparation works and confirmed that the project had reached 80 percent completion.
According to a statement by the board’s corporate communication arm, the executive secretary said the modules for the two-megawatts power plant and the control room were being fabricated and assembled in Lagos for delivery to the site.
The modular refinery is part of the Duport Energy Park conceived to include a 30-million standard cubic feet per day gas processing facility and a power plant.
NCDMB’s partnership with the Duport Energy Park was approved in June 2020 by the board’s Governing Council chaired by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.
The project is being supported under NCDMB’s commercial ventures programme, which is also in sync with the agency’s vision to serve as a catalyst for the industrialisation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors.
The NCDMB chief commended the contractors for the substantial progress they had made on the project and hinted that the operational phase of the refinery would create employment for 100 persons and indirect and induced jobs for about 1,500 persons.
Wabote emphasised that the board’s partnership with Duport Midstream and other investors to develop critical energy facilities were conceived to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s drive to create millions of jobs for the Nigerian populace.
He assured that NCDMB was committed to create jobs for Nigerians through its direct projects and partnerships with other project promoters.
According to Wabote, “When the Federal Government enunciated the policy on the development of modular refineries, NCDMB decided to explore ways through which we can build modular refineries to refine products locally.
“We first partnered with Waltesmith Modular Refinery in Imo State and it is already operational, refining 5,000 barrels of crude per day.
“Azikel Modular Refinery in Bayelsa State is the second one and this Duport project is the third project and we believe that it would be commissioned in the last quarter of this year.”
Chairman of Duport Midstream Company, Dr. Akintoye Akindele, hinted that the project would be the first integrated energy park, with a scalable and environmentally friendly modular refinery, power generation and distribution plant.
The executive secretary and his delegation also paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at the Government House in Benin.
He remarked during the visit that Section 70 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act mandates the NCDMB to assist local contractors and Nigerian companies to develop their capabilities and capacities to further the attainment of the goal of developing Nigerian content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Wabote added that the board relied on that provision to go into partnership with select project promoters to catalyse the realisation of federal government’s policy pronouncements.
He stated that the Duport Energy Park was one of the series of the board’s partnerships to contribute to the implementation of the Modular Refinery aspect of the Federal Government’s Refining Roadmap.
Wabote commended the Edo State Governor for providing conducive environment for the Duport Energy Park project and underscored the peaceful disposition of the host communities that attracted the investment.
He said the project had created job opportunities at the construction phase and that the employment numbers would multiply during the operations and maintenance phase.
He restated that one of the key benefits for the establishment of modular refineries was the steady rebuilding of local skills in refinery operations especially amongst the young workforce.
In his response, Obaseki commended the NCDMB for its developmental strides and expressed hope for more partnership as it continued to provide favourable working conditions in the state for all the projects of the board.