Deji Elumoye in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday inaugurated the Pinnacle Oil and Gas FZE Terminal in Lekki, Lagos, where he disclosed that the operations of the facility have eased congestion in the Apapa area, and reduced the cost of delivery of petroleum product distribution to many parts of the country.
In a visual message at the inauguration of the facility, the president congratulated the Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Peter Mbah, for establishing the massive terminal facility and providing hundreds of jobs to Nigerians.
Buhari described the investment as a demonstration of the success of his administration’s agenda to transform the nation’s economy, adding that the federal government looks forward to many more investments of this magnitude.
He reiterated that the federal government would continue to encourage and support investors to take advantage of the ongoing reforms in the oil and gas sector as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and replicate the feats achieved by Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited.
Assuring investors of the continued support of the federal government in efforts to elevate the growing prosperity of the country, President Buhari said: “Provision of energy security is one of the cardinal points of our administration. We have recognised that the seamless supply and distribution of petroleum products is challenged by infrastructure deficit and complicated by the congestion in the Apapa areas of Lagos since the start of our administration in the year 2015.
”We provided targeted support to the energy industry by providing an enabling environment, including regulatory facilitation, to ensure investment in critical infrastructure. I am happy today that Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited leveraged the opportunities and established this massive terminal facility. I am happy to also note that further expansion works which are starting will further provide incremental value, especially more employment to our teeming youth population. The success of our agenda to transform our country is demonstrated by this massive investment and the obvious contributions it has made to our overall economic well-being.”
In his remarks, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mallam Mele Kyari, described the facility as the largest exit point for petroleum products currently in Nigeria.
Kyari added that Pinnacle’s facility has demonstrated capacity by easing the delivery of petroleum products in many parts of the country and during difficult situations.
He said: “We will always remember that the exit point that will work for us in recent times, is the Pinnacle facility. I congratulate you, Peter, for the great work done, and for us at NNPCL, we will continue to partner with you and other stakeholders, and other investors in this space as we continue to provide energy security for our country, which is very critical for all of us.
“All this wouldn’t have happened except if there is an enabling environment. That enabling environment was surely created by Mr. President in the last seven years by allowing regulation to work, allowing investors to have access to financing, supporting them in every way, and also bringing a framework which culminated in the Petroleum Industry Act coming in place to make sure that business works in the energy sector.”
Earlier in his remarks, the CEO of Pinnacle Oil, Mbah expressed confidence that the terminal with over one billion litre-capacity will fulfil its promise by positively impacting the downstream oil and gas industry.
Mbah noted that the ultra-modern purpose-built petroleum products intake, off-take and storage facility will facilitate the efficient receipt of imported petroleum products, improve general energy security in the country and trigger significant savings in the costs of products at the pump.
He revealed that the funding for the facility, which is over $1 billion, was through a consortium of Nigerian banks.
The Pinnacle Oil boss also revealed that the company is already in advanced conversation with the Dangote Group regarding collaborations to complement the operations of the nearby Dangote Refinery which will soon come on stream, to form the nucleus of what will become Africa’s largest energy logistics hub.
Describing the facility as a world-class petroleum terminal with the capacity to handle products in two directions both import and export, Mbah explained that: “Mother Vessels arriving at the facility will have the opportunity to berth at either of our two offshore berths – either the Conventional Buoy Mooring (CBM), which is in 17metres of water depth and can handle vessels of up to 120 million litres or our Single Point Mooring (SPM), which is in about 23metres of water depth and can handle vessel sizes of up to 200 million litres. These moorings are connected to our storage facilities by four networked pipelines of 40km total length.
”These pipe networks are designed to empty the vessels in a maximum of two days, a significant improvement on the previous duration which could take up to 30 days. Our shore tank farm is currently able to handle up to 300 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) as well as diesel or Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), and the facility is designed to permit rapid discharge into trucks for evacuation at a rate of up to 20 million litres per day.”