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EPCL Kick-Starts Methanol, Fertiliser Plants … . Ahead Jonathan’s Groundbreaking Visit

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Africa’s largest petrochemicals facility, Indorama/Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited (Indorama/EPCL) located in Rivers State, Nigeria, has begun preparations in earnest for the establishment of a whopping $1.8billion (approximately N275billion) methanol, fertilizer and low density polyethylene (LDPE) plants at Eleme.

As part of this strategy, the company has commenced the clearing of the sites for the plants, ahead of the foundation stone laying by President Goodluck Jonathan within the precinct of the existing petrochemicals facility.

Briefing bureau chiefs during the first-ever official national media tour of the once-moribund petrochemicals complex at its corporate headquarters in Eleme, last Friday, Managing Director of the company, Mr Manish Mundra, said the fertilizer plant would gulp $1billion while the methanol facility would consume $700million, just as the LDPE project would cost $100million.

Manish noted that the fertilizer, methanol and LDPE facilities, which would have annual nameplate capacities of 1.332 million metric tonnes, 1.165 million metric tonnes, and 0.120 million metric tonnes, respectively, would pumped to both domestic and international markets to generate much-needed revenue for the company’s shareholders and the country.

According to Mundra, while 100 per cent of the LDPE products would go the domestic market, 50 per cent apiece of the fertilizer produced would be sold to the domestic and international markets, just as 90 per cent of the methanol products would be shipped to international buyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and intra-African nations.

The managing director listed the benefits of the facilities to include employment generation of more than 1,000 new direct and indirect jobs for the teeming but jobless youths, creation of new window for foreign exchange earnings, promotion of the diversification of the nation’s economy, production of critical goods and raw materials as well as creation of alternative energy sources, and the enabling of thousands of new business frontiers to boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Product (GNP).

Specifically, he pointed out that the methanol would provide alternative fuel for vehicles with combustion engines, including cars and trucks while also energising power plants’ lines control, security radio control, and management of free flight airplanes, in addition to the production of resins, glues, plastics, plywood, paints, explosives, and permanent press textiles.

Mundra said the methanol products would also be used for acetic acid chemical applications, and such other uses as traditional denaturant for ethanol, highlighting solvents, antifreeze addictives in pipelines and windshields washer fluids as some of the derivatives of methanol.

On the fertilizer facility, the Indorama boss stated that the fertilizer to be produced from the plant would help boost the nation’s quest to drastically increase its agricultural yields, sufficiently contribute to the country’s desire to feed its citizens, as well as strategically advance Nigeria’s dream for national food security.

With the three plants up and running after two successful turn around maintenance (TAM), Mundra stressed that Indorama/EPCL would have added a new impetus to the nation’s push to reduce gas flaring in the Niger Delta region, and thus, contribute to efforts to drive down global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, which ultimately exacerbate climate change.

The Tide gathered that the first TAM in 2006 had gulped more than $130million, with the second TAM in 2010 costing far less.

Although both TAMs had resulted in production and sales losses, their successful completion has ensured optimum operational efficiency and sound safety profile for the continent’s largest petrochemicals facility in Nigeria.

Nelson Chukwudi

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Oil & Energy

Stop Further Release Of Funds To HYPREP, Group Tells SPDC

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A Pan Ogoni youth organisation, under the auspices of Ogoni Youths Federation (OYF), has urged the Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) to stop release of funds meant for the implementation of the Ogoni clean-up project to the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) in the 2020/2021 budget, until previous funds released are accounted for.
The body, in press statement signed by its National President, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, and made available to The Tide accused HYPREP of misappropriation of funds so far released for the Ogoni environmental clean up project, amounting to about $187m.
The statement which read in part, stated that: “after the release of the initial $10m by Shell, there were cases of misappropriation and diversion which prompted Ogoni youths, through the OYF to institute a legal action against the Federal Ministry of Environment and HYPREP to account for the funds.”
The group which regretted the manner by which the implementation of the Ogoni clean-up project was being executed, alleged that there was a “deliberate compromise of the emergency measures such as the provision of portable water for the Ogoni people, including the engagement of genuine stakeholders and proper representation of people at the grassroots, as well as creation of jobs for the displaced youths of Ogoni.”
The group also condemned what it described as,  “a spree of clean -up contract awards to firms of doubtful profiles and pedigrees in manner that appeared like political patronage,” and called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to commence a forensic investigation of financial expenditure on the Ogoni clean-up project.
The  group declared that “the extreme politicisation of contract awards resulting in the exclusion of competent indigenous contractors from Ogoni is as insensitive as it is unacceptable.”

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Oil Firm Executes Projects In Rivers Communities

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In a bid to improve the standard of living of the host communities, Eroton Oil Exploration and Production has executed some life-impacting projects in Bille and Krakrama communities of Rivers State.
Eroton E & P is a joint venture partner with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the operation of Oil Mining License (OML) 18 which until 2014 belonged to Shell in the Cawthine channels and areas around Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Some of the projects executed in Bille include furnishing of the palace of Amanyanabo of Bille Kingdom and administrative block, renovation and equipping of a 6-bed health centre, installation of 10,000 litres borehole water scheme at Jike-Ama, installation of 10 solar panel street lights at Touma, donation of 50 plastic tables and 5000 plastic chairs for Bille women forum and construction of one-line drainage channel of 245 metres at Opu-Osia community, among others.
The Tide reports that the projects were executed under the GMoU platform managed by the Degema Local Government Area (DELGA) 1 Cluster Development Board (CDB).
Speaking at the event last Monday in Bille, Eroton E&P Community Affairs representative, Emmanuel Toby, appreciated the efforts of Bille community to keep peace in the Kingdom.
He said: “Its one area we see you utilise the funds we are giving and I will tell you the truth, any time you come forward with project, we look at it very well and we seem to bend, compared to other clusters”.
“This women empowerment thing we did, in other communities, we did not accept it because we are scared that the money will just go off. But for the trust we have in Bille, we have bent because we know you will manage it well. We are very grateful to your people, for the station has been peaceful”.

The chairman of DELGA 1 Cluster Development Board, Firimabo Bob Ogunga, thanked Eroton E&P for commissioning the sustainable community developments projects in the area, saying that some of the projects initiated through the GMoU platform have been completed while others were ongoing.

According to him, the ongoing projects include provision of laboratory equipment at community secondary school Bille, construction of 6-room concrete public toilet at Iwo Ama, Bille; training of three Bille indigenes in oil well compression and reservoiur engineering and provision of borehole water at Opu Billeboko Ama.

In his remarks, the chairman, Bille Kingdom Chiefs’ Council, Alabo Benneth Okpokiye Dokubo OPu commended Eroton for its efforts to lift the Bille community out of poverty of development.

Similarly, in Krakrama community, Eroton commissioned projects which include installation of 10,000 litres of water scheme split at three strategic locations, renovation and equipping of six class-room block for Community Secondary School, Krakrama, provision of 200 classroom desks and inscription of Joint Venture Logo for Krakrama Community Secondary School and women support scheme through provision of sewing machine and hair dressing items.

The Amayanabo of Krakrama, King Iwari Gibson Bala, who was represented by Chief Albert Light Dabobiongbo, lauded Eroton for improving the living standard of the community through people-oriented projects, assuring that the community would always keep faith with the company.

The Eroton Community Affairs representative, Emmanuel Toby, said that the company would continue to ensure that projects executed in the host communities were viable and sustainable on a long term basis, adding that the company would also continue to award scholarships to indigenes of Krakrama and Bille at secondary and tertiary levels of education, as well as in the area of medical outreach.

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Rep Seeks Waivers For Imported Power Equipment

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The House of Representatives Committee on Environment, has asked the Federal Government to consider granting duty waivers for imported power equipment such as solar panel, inverters, batteries, LED bulbs.
The Chairman of the committee, Johnson Oghuma, representing Etsako East/West Central in the Federal House of Representatives, stated this last Friday while speaking with journalists in Benin, Edo State.
He said the House had also mandated its committees on environment and climate Change to interface with the ministries of environment, finance, science and technology and the Energy Commission of Nigeria with a view to coming up with policies/programmes that would encourage alternative/renewable energy development to reduce global warming and report back within eight weeks for further legislative action.
He said creating the enabling environment for the adoption of Green Energy Technology through duty waivers would encourage wider access to solar energy in Nigeria, adding that it would lead to a reduction in the country’s carbon footprints in line with the global drive for a cleaner and healthier environment.
“In 2015, the world adopted the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which is aimed at reducing global carbon footprints by 20 per cent. With Nigeria being one of the signatories means it is committed to the reduction of its carbon footprints substantially in line with this global drive for a cleaner and healthier environment.
“A few years later, there have been remarkable improvements and positive developments in the area of renewable energy with global investments increasing by 17 per cent and a rise in global electricity generation by 9.1 per cent,” he said.
The lawmaker also said “Providing the enabling environment will not only ensure increased access to more sources of the power supply but also encourage the transfer of renewable energy technology in Nigeria.”
According to him, the cost of renewable energy technologies, particularly solar technology in Nigeria, is still very expensive and out of the reach of ordinary Nigerians.
“We will appreciate the need for Nigeria to join the group of progressive countries working towards mitigating global warming by adopting alternative and renewable energy technologies,” Oghuma said.

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