The Edo State Government on Wednesday said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese consortium for the construction of a modular refinery in the state.
It said that the refinery, with capacity for processing 5,000 barrels of crude oil daily, would be handled by Peiyang Chemical Equipment Company of China, Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corporation and a Nigerian company, African Infrastructure Partners.
The government stated that the first phase of the project would be ready in 12 months as all the necessary approvals were granted by the regulatory authorities, according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie.
The deal, according to the statement, came hours after a similar MoU was signed with China Harbour Engineering Company Limited in Beijing for the development of the Gelegele seaport.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Sinopec headquarters in Beijing, Governor Godwin Obaseki, noted that he was pleased with the local content component of the deal, which he said would ensure that Edo citizens were trained in welding and refinery operation.
Obaseki stated that the training and fabrication works would enable Edo indigenes to participate in the construction of the refinery as well as its operation.
“With the Federal Government of Nigeria’s commitment to supporting communities in the Niger Delta states to set up modular refineries, the SIPS fabrication yard in Benin is expected to be very busy, handling the fabrication jobs of modular refineries in the Niger Delta region,” he said.
The governor gave an assurance that the refinery would provide jobs for the unemployed, including those being repatriated from Libya.
He added that the modular refinery would solve the problem of inadequate petroleum products in the country and make Edo the preferred source for such products, considering its status as a gateway state.
While commending the investors for showing interest in the state and its desire to become a hub of skilled manpower for the oil and gas industry and boost Nigeria’s local content policy.