The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has said that providing jobs in the Niger Delta region will check youth restiveness in the oil rich region.
Sylva spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of an Energy Infrastructure Park being developed by Atlantic International Refinery and Petrochemical Limited in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) at Okpoama, Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
The Minister also commissioned three corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects executed by the Atlantic International Refinery for the people of the Okpoama Kingdom. The projects included the Okpoama Cottage Hospital, Iseleama Health Centre and Okpoama Community Water Works.
He added that part of his mandate is to collaborate with players in the private sector to establish oil and gas facilities, including modular refineries, which would ensure value addition to the crude oil, products sufficiency, create jobs in-country and curb pipeline vandalism.
He charged the people of Okpoama Kingdom and other parts of the Niger Delta to create an investment friendly environment that would attract other oil and gas and manufacturing facilities to the region.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote in his remarks, listed the various elements of the Energy Park project toinclude a 2000 barrels per day modular refinery, power plant, and jetty. He added that the project will serve as catalysts for infrastructural development and spur of economic activities in Bayelsa State.
He explained that the Board decided to partnerwith Atlantic International Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd to develop the Energy Park in line with its mandate of catalyzing oil and gas activities, building capacities and creating employment opportunities for Nigerians.
He stated that “this is a testimony to employment creation and addressing the mandate President Muhammed Buhari gave us to create 10,000 jobs over a period. During the construction of this project, we expect nothing less than 2000 to be working here. And the operations phase, we would have 200 highly workers to be part of it.”
He confirmed that the Atlantic modular refinery is the fourth in the series of the Board’s partnerships to contribute to the implementation of the Modular Refinery aspect of the Federal Government’s Refining Roadmap.
The previous partnership included the Waltersmith 5000 barrels per day modular refinery at Ibigwe, Imo State, the 12,000barrels per day Hydro-skimming modular refinery being constructed by Azikel Petroleum Limited at Obunagha, Gbarain, Bayelsa State and the2,500bpd modular refinery being developed by DuportMidstream Company as part of its Energy Park in Egbokor, Edo State.
According to him, “with the recent commissioning of the Waltersmith Refinery, we have proven that the concept is doable with the right dedication and partnership models. Our focus now is to ensure the completion of the remaining three modular refineries under construction”.
Acknowledging that the location of the Atlantic Modular refinery was challenging, the Executive Secretary said “we believe that with the capability of our partner, and especially the support of our stakeholders in the Community, the State, and the nation at large, we will come back next year to commission the project”.
Also speaking, Chairman/CEO of Atlantic International Refinery and PetrochemicalsLimited, Dr. Akintoye Akindele stated that the company is building the first integrated energy park, comprising a scalable and environmental friendly modular refinery, power generation and distribution plant and a world class jetty services in Brass, Bayelsa state.
He added that the park will not only transform the economic activity in Brass but will also act as a commercial hub for logistics in Niger Delta, unlocking significant developmental in Brass community and its environs.
He thanked His Royal Majesty, the Amanyanabo of Okpoama Kingdom, King Ebitimi E. Banigo (OFR) for hisroyal blessings and hosting the project in his Kingdom. He also thanked the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, for their unwavering support towards the actualization of the project.