Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Company Limited (ERPC) in conjunction with the Edo state government has set a target of $125 million per annum in foreign exchange earnings when it begins the exportation of naphtha, a vital product to be produced by the facility. Naphtha is a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture refined from natural gas condensates, coal tar distillation and petroleum distillates.
Michael Osime, ERPC chairman, in a statement released in Benin City, said that the refinery construction benefited immensely from the federal government’s ease of doing business programme through which fiscal incentives such as duty waiver on importation of equipment was made easily accessible. He further confirmed that the refinery is 90 percent complete as they are working round the clock to meet up with the September 2020 completion deadline after which production will begin in earnest.
In an effort to support the project, the Edo state government issued a N700 million support fund to help hasten the establishment of the company in the state and a bid to attract other manufacturing companies willing to do business in the state. The fund will be repaid to the Edo State government when the refinery begins production. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed with Peiyang Chemical and Equipment Company of China (PCC) and the Chinese company’s Nigerian partners, Africa Infrastructure Partners Limited (AIPL).
According to Osime, the company secured its refinery establishment license on December 10,2018 and got approval from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on March 11,2019.
The project has so far involved a team of over 250 engineers, fabricators and other workers locally recruited.
Osime also disclosed that on expansion, 18 percent of local supply of diesel will be produced by the refinery which will serve as a catalyst towards local production and give rise to employment opportunities for Nigerian citizens.
He further projected that the refinery’s commencement would also play a great role in reforming and boosting Edo State’s economy as the state would become a pacesetter for other states to emulate in the petroleum industry.