With the 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) Duport Refinery promoted by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Duport Midstream Company Limited (DMCL) ready for operation in July, Edo State is fast becoming a hub for petrochemical industries, opening the state up for more investment in the oil and gas industry.
The Duport Refinery is the second modular refinery completed in the state, following closely behind the 6000bpd Edo Refinery constructed by AIPCC Energy Limited and Peiyang Chemical Equipment Company Limited.
The combined capacity of the two refineries positions Edo State as a major hub for petrochemicals in the country, as the construction projects create job opportunities and build local capacity for projects in the oil and gas industry.
Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simi Wabote, during a recent facility tour of the Duport Energy Park in Egbokor, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, said: "The plan is that on July 18, DPR will come and do the final check-in terms of giving us the approval to introduce hydrocarbon into the refinery. So, between now and the end of July, this refinery, in addition to the one we have in Ibigwe, will become operational.
“This will be the second refinery that will switch on in July. Currently, one of our refineries is working, which is Watersmith modular refinery that is producing 5,000bpd and serving the eastern market. In terms of our modular refinery operation, by July, this one will go live to tell you that there are modular refineries working in the country.
“There have been substantial improvements. In March, we were here to do our inspection and also had a board meeting. During the meeting, the board mandated Duport to carry out a lot of activities with a view to officially commissioning this in June.”
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of DMCL, Akintoye Akindele said production will begin after the final assessment of the facility is done by the regulatory agency.
A finance expert and lecturer at the University of Benin, Mr. Nosakhare Ikponmwosa, said the two refineries are evidence that the state is ripe to take its rightful place in the oil and gas space, giving the activities of oil and gas companies in the state over the years.
According to him, “We must give credit to the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government who expressed strong faith in the industry by providing the N700 million investment that birthed the Edo Refinery years ago. That move changed a lot of things. Today, we have the capacity to refine thousands of barrels for the benefit of Edo people and the country in general.”