Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
- Group’s petrochemicals, fertilizer plants in Eleme, Rivers State, are heavy gas users
- Group plans investment increase to $6.4bn by 2025
Indorama group’s $3 billion petrochemicals and fertilizer plants in Eleme, Port Harcourt, Rivers State are good examples of how to utilize Nigeria’s abundant gas resources, says Timipre Sylva, the minister of state for petroleum resources, after a tour of the imposing plants with cutting edge technology.
Sylva says the two plants, which are heavy gas users, present a decent case of how to utilize the abundant gas resources to impact the economy positively; especially through creation of job opportunities, revenue to government and supply of petrochemicals and fertilizers.
The minister who took a tour of the company’s petrochemicals and fertilizer plants in Eleme, on Thursday, said it was heart-warming for Nigeria to have Indorama utilizing gas in a true sense of value-addition.
“I must say that this is a welcome value-addition to our economy. They (Indorama group) are doing very well. They have invested over $3 billion, and plan to invest over $6 billion in the Nigerian economy,” the minister said.
He said he visited to see how the company was utilizing gas to create value in different sectors of the Nigerian economy, and was quite satisfied with the turnout of things at the complex.
“What I have seen here is heart-warming for this country. I have had a lesson in value addition. I was here by 2005 in the old Eleme Petrochemicals Company (EPCL), and I saw the plant, an ailing plant at that time. But what I have seen here today is very marvellous. A lot has happened here. They (Indorama group) have added a lot of trains, and added fertilizer Urea plant and other facilities,” the petroleum resources minister of state said.
He said the federal government was also very happy to see that Indorama-Nigeria is living well and peacefully with its host communities.
The minister said that Indorama was already partnering with the Nigerian government in supplying urea fertilizer to the government under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI); and that has really helped in no small way in developing the rice production sector.
“You can see that in just few years, Nigeria has become almost self-sufficient in rice production; and that is also because of the huge support we get from Indorama. They have also created a lot of jobs and a lot of value here. We are very happy with them; and we hope that this can be replicated everywhere around the country,” Sylva said.
He noted that gas is the way to diversify the Nigerian economy, especially seeing the practical application in the polymers (petrochemicals) Indorama produces that are raw materials for other industries. The fertilizer they produce is raw material for the agricultural sector.
According to him, effective gas utilization is at the foundation of expanding the Nigerian economy. We hope that this can be replicated in other parts of Nigeria,” he said.
The minister and his entourage were received at the Indorama Petrochemicals complex by the company’s top officials led by the managing director, Manish Mundra.
In a statement released by Jossy Nkwocha, Indorama’s head of corporate communications, Mundra is quoted as assuring the minister of state that Indorama-Nigeria was focused on its vision of building the largest petrochemicals and fertilizer hub of Africa in Nigeria.
Last year, with its total investment at about $4 billion, Mundra had said Indorama would increase its investment portfolio in the country to $6.4 billion by 2025.