Crown Refinery & Petrochemical Limited, a crude oil refining firm, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ondo State government for the building of a $500 million refinery in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state.
The plant is designed for an initial production capacity of 30,000 Barrels per day. Located in Eruna Ogboti community of the state, the refinery is expected to increase its crude oil refining capacity to 60,000bpd when it commences full operation within its first five years of operating. It is expected to be completed within 36 months from the day of the signing of the MoU, which took place yesterday at the Governor’s Office in Akure.
The refinery is designed to process both imported paraffinic and Nigerian crude into finished petroleum products, oils and lubricants.
According to the CEO of Crown Refinery and Petrochemical limited Mr Kassim Adeleke, the project will create a total of 2000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians, with much consideration for the host community.
“It is expected that the upcoming private refineries, ours included, would be able to meet Nigeria’s need for refined petroleum products,” said Adeleke while speaking on the enormous vacuum left uncovered in the petroleum downstream sector.
“The market is deep enough! For us, it is more of contributing to an industry output that will meet the demand,” Adeleke said when asked how his company would compete successfully in this market, considering the number of like modular refineries springing up in the country.
The Nigerian, and West African market’s demand for petroleum products has been on the increase. This has been largely unmet by the existing supply from refineries in the region. Nigeria has 4 major refineries (approx. 445,000 bpd). The West African sub-region still imports most of her petroleum products. This is the gap that Crown Refinery & Petrochemical Limited is set up to fill.
The Ondo State Government has reiterated its determination to make Ondo State conducive for all genuine investors willing to partner the state in its industrialisation drive.
Speaking during the courtesy visit to him by the Management of LWE a joint venture of Crown Refinery and Petrochemical limited with its technical partners in his office in Akure, the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said his administration was resolutely determined to make Ondo State attractive to willing investors by easing the cost of doing business in the state.
While describing as heartwarming the Memorandum of Understanding between the State Government and Crown Refinery and Petrochemical limited on the construction and management of a Modular Refinery worth over Five Hundred million Dollars, Governor Akeredolu said investible potentials of the state particularly in the southern part where the proposed Refinery could not be quantified.
He said Ondo State is strategically positioned among the Niger Delta States and Lagos State, which is the nation’s economic nerve centre, to make all business minded investors reap bountifully on their investments in the state.
He commended Crown Refinery and Petrochemical limited for coming on board at this time to be a worthy partner with the State Government and assured them and their partners a second to none atmosphere in their business deals in Ondo State.
Adeleke said his company had before now approached some states for the establishment of the project but was not welcomed.
He however said in Ondo State he found professionalism, swift decision making , friendly communities and passion, such that in less than one year of opening talks with the State Government, the coast has been clear for kick start the landmark project.
While commending the State Government for having brought Ondo State closer to Lagos State through the facilitation of daily flight, the chairman said the project will further make both states accessible on water with the use of speed boats in thirty minutes.
Earlier in the day, the MOU between the Ondo State Government and the C.E.O of. Crown Refinery and Petrochemical limited on the project was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Energy and Mineral Resources, Engineer Femi Akarakiri for the State Government while the C.E.O of the company, Mr Kassim Adeleke and Company Secretary, Ambassador Folake Marcus- Bello signed the MOU on behalf of the company.
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