Nigeria’s refining capacity may soon be increased by 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) as Energia Limited has reopened talks with investors over its planned refinery project.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Mr. Felix Amieye-Ofori, stated this when Executive Members of the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC) paid a courtesy call to the Corporate Headquarters of Energia in Lagos last week.
Amieye-Ofori, explained that the downturn in oil and gas industry which affected the operations of most companies delayed progress on the project because most financial institutions at that time, were not willing to provide funding for most oil and gas projects.
Besides, he said the instability in the Niger- Delta region which often resulted in disruption of production activities equally affected the progress of work on the refinery because most offshore funds had been held back as a result of the negative news emanating from Nigeria.
He explained that all approvals for the commencement of work on the refinery have been received from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), including Environmental Impact Assessment, Front End Engineering Design (FEED), adding that DPR has now giving Energia the nod to commence detailed engineering and fabrication.
‘‘ Now that the environment is open as a result of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) and stability in oil and gas operating environment, more investors are now opening discussions. In fact, I have been getting calls on the project. And this shows signs of positivity that things are already looking up,’’
According to him, refinery projects require a lot of funds because a larger chunk of the resources are sunk into capital expenditure.
The Energia boss was however, confident that the project is a must achieve for the company because they are at an advantaged position because the company is an oil exploration and production company, and as such would not have the challenge of sourcing for crude.
On the other hand, he said one of the reasons why the company is going into the refinery project is to help address some of the challenges with pipeline interruptions because with project on stream, the company will continue to be in oil production to keep the refinery running.