*as Jonathan commissions $200m 55000bpd modular refinery

*goes full capacity 2014

*re-enters 45years old oil well

From Chuks Collins, Awka

Aug 24, 2012

History beckons on Anambra state, come August 30, 2012 when the President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to commission the 55,000bpd first wholly privately owned Orient Petroleum Resources’ (OPR) refinery in the country to launch the state into the big league of oil producing states as its latest member.

The company, according to its Managing Director, Chief Emeka Nwawka, an engineer, is currently stock-piling the produced crude in large barges at the Aguleri, Anambra East council site ahead of the coming on stream of their refinery in a few months time.

The chief Executive also confirmed that the Enugu state Government through a meeting with her Secretary to the State Government, (SSG), Patrick Okolo, the Attorney General, Chief Anthony Ani and the chairman of the Uzor-Uwani council area on one part and the company on the other have resolved all initial disagreement over the location and area covered by their operations.

Nwawka stated that the two oil blocs sitting on an acreage of 2158km2 extends a little bit into Edo, Delta and Enugu states, but that the location of the well in Anambra was never in any form of dispute.

FG had granted two oil blocs marked as OPL 915 and 916 to the company in 2002, from when after studying and analyzing the seismic data thereto, decided to proceed with its full development. The drilling process began with their re-entry of the OPL 915, otherwise referred to as Anambra River 1 which had first been drilled in 1967, about 45 years ago by the Safrap(which later became Elf , and later again Total Plc)

More so, the export details and processes were already being worked out with the appropriate Federal agencies too.  

He disclosed that already, the detailed engineering aspects of the refinery have been completed.

The Managing Director also confirmed that the installation of the modules have planned in phases. That the Phase One with a 20,000bpd capacity would be ready next year(2013), during which it’s expected that the whole project which journey began in 2002 would have gulped more than One hundred million dollars ($100m).

While Phase Two with 35,000 bpd capacity was expected to be ready the following year in 2014. It was therefore expected that when fully completed to installed output capacity of 55,000bpd in 2014 it would have taken about $200m.

This is against the proposed six new refineries by the Federal Government that would cost Nigerian tax payers $750m each, with proposed installed capacity of 30,000bpd output.

Nwawka stated that the modular plan gives them confidence boost that with anticipated enhanced cash flow from the initial module, they would then re-invest in the extension of the increased refining capacity. It would also support other ancillary needs like the roads, tanks, workshops, electricity generation and others.

Orient Petroleum Resources operators of the Orient Refinery and other subsidiaries, with the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyoku as its board chairman was a wholly privately owned shareholding venture promoted in 2001. It has numerous shareholders base from all parts of the country, together with some councils and state governments as minority investors, including Rivers, Anambra and the 21 councils of Anambra state.

The license to construct a refinery was granted by the FG in 2002 and with due operational diligence it secured the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate in 2005. Thus became the first to be so certified in the country’s oil sector.

The OPR example may be the shining example the nation needs to break away from the refining and supply hiccups of the sector which had over the years been used to distort the budgetary permutations of the various levels of government especially the FG, having become so bogged down by political/industrial disharmony and manipulations of key players in the industry for so long.

Nwawka however noted that work ethics and attitude to work remains the main driving force towards success irrespective of the size or cost of  particular project, including a refinery like OPR.