The Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has signed two equity investments agreements, valued at $25 million, for the construction of a lube blending plant in Bayelsa State, and an energy park in Edo state, including the setting up of a modular refinery and power plant.

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The two separate partnership agreements and share subscription agreements were signed, firstly, between NCDMB and Duport Midstream Company Limited for the construction of an energy park at Egbokor, Edo State and between NCDMB and Eraskon Nigeria Limited, for construction of a Lube Blending Plant at Gbarain, in Bayelsa State.

NCDMB will acquire equity stakes in the companies with the aim of ensuring that the aims and objectives of the projects come to fruition.

NCDMB is investing $15 million in Duport and $10 million in Eraskon.

Speaking at the virtual signing ceremony, Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, also disclosed the Board was in discussions with a number of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), to domesticate a large percentage of modular refineries fabrication and assembly in Nigeria.

Wabote explained that the partnership with Duport Midstream Company Limited entails the construction of an energy park at Egbokor, Edo State comprising of 2,500 barrels per day (BPD) modular refinery, 30 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) gas processing facility which would include a Compressed Natural Gas facility and two megawatts (MW) power plant.

According to him, the Duport partnership was in furtherance of its strategy to enhance in-country value addition by supporting the establishment of processing facilities close to marginal or stranded hydrocarbon fields.

He noted that the recent drastic drop in the prices of oil had also registered the need to have refining capacities to reduce if not eliminate cases of stranded oil cargoes without buyers.

He further explained that as progress is made in its partnerships in the establishment of modular refineries, the NCDMB was also seeing the emerging opportunity in the area of developing capability and capacity in-country to be able to maintain the various kits in the modular refinery on a sustainable basis.

He said, “We do not want a situation in which the modular refineries are folding up one after the other in a few years due to lack of technical support or inability to secure critical parts.

“As such, we have commenced discussions with a couple of OEM’s on how we can domicile the fabrication and assembly of modular refineries in-country. Our strategy is to begin to claw back bits and pieces of the various components of the modular refinery till we fully domesticate the manufacturing of a large percentage of the kits in-country.”

On the partnership with Eraskon, Wabote said the project would be the first and only lubricating oils blending plant in Bayelsa State, adding that the 45,000 litres per day facility would enhance the availability of engine oils, transmission fluids, grease, and other products.

“One of the things I found exciting about the ERASKON blending facility is its ability to be deployed for the production of other chemicals and reagents. The packaging section can also be used for generating additional incomes for the business and for creation of employment,” he noted.

Wabote maintained that the partnerships had the prospects of jobs creation, value retention, petroleum products availability, utilisation of abundant gas resources and in the development of in-country capability.

“From these two partnerships, we expect about 1,500 direct, indirect, and induced employment opportunities. There are several other spin-off economic activities that will be developed where these projects are located,” he said.

In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer of Duport Midstream, Mr Akintoye Akindele conveyed the company’s excitement to partner the NCDMB in the development of the Energy Park and assured that the project would add value to the nation’s natural resources and create wealth and social amenities for communities.

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He added that the Energy Park is scheduled to create over 1,000 jobs and impact 10,000 families, noting that the modular refinery would produce a combination of Naphtha, diesel, kerosene and HFO, otherwise known as residual fuel oil.

He pledged the company’s commitment to exceed expectations and help increase the government’s revenue and reduce dependence on imported petroleum products.

Speaking in the same vein, Managing Director of Eraskon Nigeria, Mr. Maxwell Oko, noted that Eraskon was delighted to contribute to the industrial development of Bayelsa State and the Niger Delta.

He said the company would benefit from operating from the same industrial corridor with Shell Gas Gathering facility, Azikel Refinery and NCDMB projects at Polaku.

He promised that the company would be a good story of NCDMB partnership, adding that the project would be completed in two years.