• Says it will curb illegal refining
• Promises to build three in each senatorial zone
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has commended the Federal Government for its decision to set up modular refineries in host-communities in the Niger Delta.
He said that when fully on stream, it would curb the illegal refining of petroleum products and its associated risks.The governor described the move as brilliant idea that would not only create more jobs, but would also increase the economic fortunes of the oil-rich region and Nigeria in general.
Dickson spoke yesterday at the sub-sea nations and Africa oil and gas conference, which is a major sideline conference of the ongoing Oil and Gas Trade Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, United States (U.S.).
The governor said his government had fully embraced the laudable venture by setting up a company known as the Bayelsa Petrochemical and Refinery Company Limited to partner with willing investors to ensure that the refineries are established and up and running.
He said that the participation of his state at the conference was strategic as it affords him the opportunity to meet and leverage with prospective investors on various opportunities provided by his government.
Dickson, who reiterated that already Bayelsa State has in abundance gas feedstock to power the modular refineries, said: “It is interesting to note that we already have more than enough gas in abundance to deliver the three modular refineries.”
The governor, who was also a guest at the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) strategic stakeholders’ event as part of the OTC roundtable side meetings, therefore, assured prospective investors that all investments would be fully secured and also allayed fears expressed on threats to destruction of pipelines.
“To a large extent, as a state government given our strategic and massive investment in security over the last five years, we make bold to say that our state is one of the safest in the Niger Delta and Nigeria. So, would-be investors have nothing to worry about,” he stressed.
In his remarks, Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, commended Governor Dickson for all the initiatives and efforts put in place to attract investment in the sector, particularly the move to set up three modular refineries.
Also, Chief Executive Officer, Energy and Corporate Africa, Sunny Oputa, who spoke at the event, said that industry experts and analysts believed that deepwater and offshore fields are under-exploited in Africa where the next wave of boom is being expected. According to him, a rebound oil and gas market would usher a great surge in the region’s sub-sea, deepwater and offshore activities by 20I9.
Oputa stated: “The increasing activities in sub-sea and offshore production would stimulate high demand in sub-sea equipment, technology, engineering, maintenance, inspection and sub-sea control systems.“Africa would soon become a major global market for sub-sea engineering and systems.”