Obasanjo launches Azikel Refinery project in Bayelsa
All is set for today’s foundation-laying ceremony of Azikel Refinery by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.President Muhammadu Buhari approved the licence for the refinery in 2015 shortly after assuming office.
According to a statement issued by the Corporate Affairs Services Department of Azikel Group and signed by its head, Mr. Austin Ebipade, the privately-owned refinery, which is 65 per cent completed, is expected to take off next year and would be the first of its kind in the country.
The refinery is managed by Azikel Petroleum Limited, a subsidiary of the Azikel Group, which is also in the business of dredging, aviation and power.The statement said the volume of accomplished task in the Phase I Task, referred to as the Outside Battery Limit (OSBL) and the Inside Battery
Limit (ISBL), is about 65 per cent completed.
The refinery is situated on 19.9 hectares of virgin swamp forest, which is waterlogged and below sea level, but had been sand-filled.According to the President of the group, Dr. Azibapu Eruani, the refinery, when completed, would address the issue of persistent scarcity of refined products, with the production of petrol, aviation fuel, kerosene and diesel.
He said the role of the private sector in boosting the country’s economic growth informed his decision to embark on the venture, which is projected to create hundreds of jobs in and outside the Niger Delta region. Prominent Nigerians and foreign investors are already in Yenagoa for the event, which is slated to start by 11 am.