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Nigeria: NNPC, Lekki Refinery Consortium Strike AccordProspective investors in the proposed Lagos greenfield refinery have secured the support of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in the project which is expected to stream by 1017.
The investors include Mittal Investments, U. K.; ONGC Narmada Ltd of India; Tiajin Energy Resources Ltd of China; Total Nigeria Plc; Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC); Golden Fertilizers Company (owned by Flour Mills Nigeria Plc); Sahara Energy Resources Ltd; Starex Petroleum Refinery Ltd; and Amazon Energy.
The consortium is perceived as the compliance arms of the oil producing companies that are now under renewed pressure to invest in local refining, and indigenous marketing firms seeking to take a first mover advantage in the expected off take.
At a meeting of the members of the consortium with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), they secured the corporation's support for the establishment of the proposed greenfield refinery in Lekki, Lagos.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, hailed the proposed refinery as the first to be built in the country in over 20 years and the first to be integrated with an Industrial Hydrocarbon Park.
He declared that "NNPC will support the Lekki Free Zone by assisting with the arrangements for the supply of natural gas feedstock to the zone, for the manufacture of petrochemicals, fertilizers and other much desired industrial products".
He said the refinery project falls in line with the planned deregulation of the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry, adding that there was no better time for the investment in a refinery.
He commended the Lagos State government for its initiative in establishing an Oil and Gas Area within the Lekki Free Zone which will provide infrastructural facilities such as power, water, roads and an oil jetty, for the proposed refinery.
The infrastructural support for the refinery, Dr. Barkindo noted, would save huge cost and boost the viability of enterprises at the site.
The Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Mr Wale Raji, who represented the Lagos State government, said the state was interested and prepared to work with investors who are keen on providing solutions to the problem of petroleum product supply in the state in particular and in the country in general.
The General Manager Projects of ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd, OMEL, who led his Company's team to the meeting explained that though the feasibility studies for the project had been done and a steering committee inaugurated since November 2008, his organization and some of the other investors needed some "commitment from the state to be able to continue with the investment", adding that he was happy with support offered by the NNPC.
Both Oando and AP Plc who investors in the refinery project explained that their foray into refining was informed by the need to bridge the supply gap in the local petroleum product market that is likely to result from the 7 per cent GDP growth that Nigeria is projected to enjoy.
The Chief Executive Officer of Oando Refinery and Terminals, Ayo Ajose-Adeogun, who represented his company at the meeting, said the Lekki Refinery project has the advantage of proximity to source of crude oil and the market.
Other prospective investors in the Lekki Refinery project that were represented at the meeting include Mittal Investments, U. K., ONGC Narmada Ltd of India, Tiajin Energy Resources Ltd of China, Total Nigeria Plc, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Golden Fertilizers Company (owned by Flour Mills Nigeria Plc), Sahara Energy Resources Ltd, Starex Petroleum Refinery Ltd and Amazon Energy.ONGC had earlier indicated interest to set up a refinery in Nigeria.
The Indian firm said that it was looking to broaden its activities and the setting up of a Greenfield refinery has been discussed, Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said at an industry event.
Deora did not offer details but it is believed he was speaking of the proposal to build a refinery with a 180,000 bpd capaciyy in conjunction with Mittal in return for oil blocks.
ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd (OMEL), the joint venture of OVL and Mittal Investment Sarl, landed two Nigerian blocks OPL 285 and OPL 279 in Nigeria's 2006 International Licensing Round in return for downstream commitments either in power, rail, or refining.
Deora said India and Africa enjoy strong potential to work together for strengthening energy security. "Several African countries are endowed with rich hydrocarbon resources. India is a willing partner of Africa ready to contribute technology, skills and investment to harness these resources in cost-effective manner for our common benefit."
ONGC is also interested in participating in Nigeria's LNG scene. "We are a stable, long-term and growing market for Africa's natural gas. Our companies are interested in sourcing LNG as well as equity participation in existing and upcoming LNG terminals in Africa," Deora said.
NNPC Partners Private Sector Operators on Lekki Refinery
Business activities at the ongoing Lekki Free Trade Zone project in Lagos are expected to begin by March 2010 with about 70 companies having already indicated interest in investing at the location. AUSTIN IMHONLELE writes that even the project managers agree that infrastructure remains a big challenge Lekki Free Trade Development Company, managers of the project have identified non- availability of infrastructure as major hindrance to the commencement of business activities at the zone. The project according to the managers The Lekki Free Trade Zone project is expected to provide a variety of opportunities for investors interested in various sectors of the Nigerian economy such as agri-processing, clothing and textiles, food and beverages, forestry, mining, pharmaceuticals, retail, housing and tourism. As part of its transformative agenda and desire to harness the investment and business potential of the state, the Lagos State Government pledged to provide infrastructure to fast track the establishment of the project by making provision for over $67m for the development of the project. Even then, the managers of the project believe that the non- availability of infrastructure is a major hindrance to the commencement of business activities at the zone. "Although the project is currently not ready for use as a result of inadequate infrastructure, there are indications that about two to three industries from China may begin operations by March 2010 as we continue to build more infrastructure," says Adeyemo Thompson, deputy managing director of the company. Business Day's visit to the trade zone revealed that, there is need to fast track the rate of infrastructural development to enable investors build factories as the project is planed to take about 10 to 15 years to complete. Thompson told Business Day that the first phase of the projects is expected to cost about $1.5billion while the other phase of the project will gulp over $5billion. According to him, over 50 manufacturing companies have already indicated interest to build their factories at the site while about 30 oil, gas and logistics companies are prepared to establish industries. Business Day also gathered that Oando Nigeria plc has set out plans to build a refinery at the zone. The company is trying to develop a 360,000-barrel per day capacity Greenfield refinery in Lekki, Lagos State. Ayo Ajose-Adeogun, chief operating officer of Oando Marketing Limited, a subsidiary of Oando Group, while speaking to journalists recently noted that refinery was an enormous engagement as Oando has so far carried out a feasibility studies on the lekki trade zone at the beginning of this year. "We believe that a refinery that targets approximately half of the deficit for 2017 will be viable against local production and against substitute input. Such a refinery will benefit from the closest sources of crude oil. We are going to put in place a complex refinery which will take advantage of the light crude we see in the area and maximise PMS production." He further explained that the company is targeting 360,000 barrels per day as the first phase will do 340,000 barrels which will give an approximate of 15,000 tons per day of PMS. The project will take us between five to seven years in development. At the moment, we have secured the approval of allocation of 450 hectares of land from the Lagos State Government in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Phase 2. First, what we are going to do is to build an import terminal which we are hoping to conclude once we finish the price negotiation with the state government and we award the FEED immediately. The FEED will take us about four to five months and may be in the last quarter of 2010, we should be able to begin construction of that terminal. That terminal will be about 210,000 tons of storage and will ultimately become the finished goods storage of the refinery. That is the size of storage you will need for a 240,000 barrels per day refinery. Recently Lagos State government sought the understanding and cooperation of the people of Lekki and Epe area with the State Government in its efforts to ensure the completion of work on the Lekki Free Trade Zone. The government said it has paid a total of N785m as compensation to land owners in the area, who had to forfeit their land for the development. Special Adviser on Commerce and Industry, Sola Oworu has assured that the State Government is committed to the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding which it signed with She said that State Government is working with a Chinese Consortium for the development of the first phase of the Free Trade Zone which is 3000 hectares, adding that the Chinese are expected to bring in capital to develop the infrastructure in free trade zone. Said Oworu: "The State Government alone cannot fund all the infrastructure development required in the free Trade Zone, so we are partnering with the Chinese Consortium who will
bring in capital to develop infrastructure such as network of roads, power, sewage, water treatment plant so that they can attract the right type of investors in the zone. When you see the Chinese investors on ground, it means they are there as investors". Oworu informed that Environmental Impact Assessment has been done for the Lekki Free trade Zone, adding that the expanse of land under the Free Trade Zone would revert to the State Government after the Chinese investors must have recouped their investments. Ganiyu Adegbesan, the Onise of Ise, said he is satisfied with what the State Government is doing in their affected communities, but implored the authorities to ensure that it fulfils all the promises made to them. He added that the State should also ensure that it pays compensation to appropriate family heads and not to impostors, urging the State to parley with the aggrieved people. Secretary of the resettlement committee, Hamidu Musiliu pledged that the people should be carried along in the process. He said that they would benefit in many ways including awarding contracts to some of the local contractors, stressing that presently the local contractors feel no sense of belonging. The ultimate goal of this project is to create a new model city and a mega industrial, commercial, financial, tourism and recreational hub - a cutting edge centre for international business collaborations. But as construction gets underway on the first phase of the project, the affected people in various Lekki communities are waiting to see how the effort would impact their lives.
As part of its transformative agenda and desire to harness the investment and business potential of the state, the Lagos State Government has decided to establish the Lekki Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
Goal of the Lekki FTZ
The ultimate goal of this project is to create a new model city and a mega industrial, commercial, financial, tourism and recreational hub – a cutting edge centre for international business collaborations. Construction on the first phase of the project is already underway.
The Lekki FTZ is an ideal location to set-up manufacturing businesses in all sectors. There are openings and access to a plentiful supply of raw materials for investors in fields such as agri-processing, clothing and textiles, food and beverages, forestry, mining and pharmaceuticals.
Opportunities in commerce, retail, housing and tourism also abound. The beaches adjoining Lekki's lagoon and oceanfront are the site of considerable activity already, with a golf course under construction and plans in place for various hotels, beach resorts and private villas. Fitness and spa centres and conference facilities are also planned, with a five-acre mixed development (one, two and three-bedroom apartments) designed to house employees of the various hospitality ventures.
Competitive advantages of the Lekki FTZ
The Sino-Nigerian Lekki Free Trade Zone (FTZ) set in the Atlantic Ocean coast some 60 km away from Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, has been considered as a symbol of the Chinese businessmen's substantial step to carry out a "go abroad" development strategy in Africa.
In an interview with Xinhua, Chen Xiaoxing, head of the Chinese side of the Lekki FTZ, said on Friday that the Lekki FTZ is a Chinese-Nigerian joint venture project with China's CCECC-Beyond International Investment & Development Co., Ltd. holding 60 percent of shares and Nigeria's Lekki Global Investment Co., Ltd., the remaining 40 percent of shares.
Chen, also board chairman of the Lekki FTZ Development Company, said, the project aims to "build up a modern Chinese-type industrial city in Lagos under the leadership of the Lagos state government while helping first-rate Chinese enterprises to develop themselves abroad."
Lekki FTZ project, being the first of its kind the Chinese government has ever built abroad, will be carried out in three phases. The first-phase will covers an area of 15 sq. km with the Chinese side investing 200 million U.S. dollars and the Nigerian side 67 million dollars. The phase-I project will see an industrial park highlighted by light industry, textiles, building materials, household electric appliances, communications, machine processing and building as well as real estate and gardening building.
The phase-II and Phase-III projects, will cover 150 sq. km with a total investment of 5 billion dollars, focusing on heavy industry manufacturing, chemicals, petroleum processing, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, logistics, import/export businesses, deep-water port, tourism, real estate, education, banking and finance, among others.
"Our goal is to turn the Lekki FTZ into a new, vigorous and multiple-functional international satellite town of Lagos," Chen said.
He said China, the largest country in Asia and Nigeria, the largest country in Africa, can learn each other and help each other, adding that China owns fairly advanced technology and professional skills which are most suitable for Nigeria while Nigeria is rich natural resources which Nigeria hopes China to help it tap and develop locally into semi-finished or finished products for export.
According to Chen, the Lekki FTZ, when completed and put into operation eventually, will offer more than 300,000 jobs, further enlivening economic activities of Nigeria's economic enter of Lagos.
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