The United States Trade and Development Agency, USTDA, has approved a grant of $1 million (N360 million) for the detailed engineering design of 20,000 barrel per day, bpd, modular refinery in Lagos. Head, Media Communications of Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr Enyeribe Anyanwu, disclosed this in a statement, in Lagos, yesterday. Anyanwu said that the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, who disclosed this during the official signing of the agreement in Lagos, commended the initiative of Eko Petrochem and Refining Company’s management. Symington expressed the hope that the proposed 200,000 bpd production refinery would attract more investments to the country and develop host communities.

He said: “The grant was meant for detail engineering design and development of the proposed refinery in Tomaro Industrial Park in Lagos. I feel honoured to be part of the success story. I also promised to support the projects to actualisation.” The US Ambassador to Nigeria commended the Chairman of Integrated Oil and Gas, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, for his commitment to the project. He said Iheanacho noted that the investment was coming at a time when the country needed it most. He also praised the Federal Government for believing in the power of the individual citizens and entrepreneurs to undertake laudable projects for the nation’s development.

“He is doing it at a time with a government that believes Nigeria can do what can be done anywhere in the world,” he said: Capt. Iheanacho said the Eko Petrochem and Refining Company would complement efforts of the Federal Government in providing lasting solution to the problems of importation of refined petroleum products into the country. He said the US government, acting through the USTDA, had accelerated the process of the planned economic investments through the industrial development grant of one million dollars, which it had seen fit to bestow to us. He said: “The grant is to be specially used to finance the completion of the detailed analysis of supporting technologies and engineering for the implementation of 20,000 bpd crude oil refinery.”

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“We are delighted by the USTDA award as it seems the U.S. Government and the trade agency have by this gesture, recognised the economic and development potential of our ongoing modular refinery project and the Tomaro Industrial Park/Free Trade Zone which today comes into formal existence. “By delivering this grant, the agency has demonstrated its commitment to the infrastructure development and economic growth of Nigeria, especially in the areas of export technologies and services that promote the country’s refining capacity.” Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who was represented by Mr Rabiu Suleiman, Executive Director/Coordinator, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Refinery, Downstream and Infrastructural Development, commended the commitment of Iheanacho to the project, noting that finance was one of the major challenges facing most of those that had been licensed to build refineries in the country.

He promised that the Federal Government would provide all the necessary support required by the company to make the refinery a reality. Managing Director, VFuels, Mr Souheil Abboud, said the company was proud to partner the USTDA to actualise the fruition of the refinery. According to him, “we believe very strongly in our commitment to serving the Nigerian people and are enthusiastic that the USTDA shares the same vision and commitment.” He said the refinery would be a model for those looking to improve Nigeria’s local refining capacity and would contribute to the growing demand for fuel and electricity. The USTDA helps companies to create the US jobs through the export of the US goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. The 116 million dollars project to produce 20,000 barrel capacity modular refinery is located at Tomaro Island Port, off Takwa Bay in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.

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