BUA Group to Build 200,000 bdp Refinery in Akwa Ibom
By Adedapo Adesanya
One of Africa’s conglomerate, BUA Group, has announced its plans to tap into the energy sector by building a 200,000-barrel per day capacity refinery in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
The group, a dominant player in the foods, mining and infrastructure business, has already signed an agreement with Axens of France for the supply of process technologies for what will be a 10 million tonnes per annum mega refinery and petrochemicals facility.
Set for a completion date of 2024, the multibillion-dollar integrated refinery and petrochemical plant aims at producing Euro-V fuels and Polypropylene for the domestic and regional market.
According to BUA, Axens was selected after a comprehensive process because of its advanced technology licenses, basic engineering, catalysts & adsorbents, proprietary equipment, training and technical services.
The landmark agreement was signed between the Chairman of BUA Group, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu, and the CEO of Axens, Mr Jean Sentenac, in a ceremony presided over by France’s Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Mr Franck Riester.
The BUA Group Chairman and CEO said the “10 million tonnes per annum refinery and petrochemicals project is in line with BUA’s vision to develop local capacity in key industries where we can add the most value and where raw materials can be sourced locally.
“Once completed, this RFCC-based complex will produce high-quality gasoline, diesel, jet fuel meeting Euro-V specifications for the Nigerian market and the larger region.
“In addition, it will produce propylene, an essential component for the petrochemical industry used in polypropylene-based plastics and packaging.
“This project will help in reducing Nigeria’s dependence on imported fuels and petrochemicals.
“It is in the DNA of BUA Group to create efficient, innovative and sustainable businesses; look at our cement plants, the most sustainable in Nigeria, same with our sugar plants.”, Mr Rabiu added.
Mr Sentenac for Axens said: “We are delighted to be part of this strategic project providing the most advanced technologies on the market that are energy-efficient and ensure the production of high-quality fuels and petrochemical intermediates.
“This state-of-the-art integrated complex will allow BUA Group to develop its refining and petrochemical capabilities in Nigeria and produce highly valuable products for the domestic market. It is a great pleasure and pride to partner with them to concur to develop the Nigerian economy and ensure the success of this strategic state of the art project”.
The bidding process was managed by energy consultants KBR, which will also be handling subsequent rounds for the engineering and construction phase, currently underway.
The refinery will be built using an undisclosed mix of debt and equity with banks already in negotiations with the Group.
The new refinery project sets up a direct competition with Nigeria’s other large refinery project currently in progress by the Dangote Group, which is set for 2021 operational date. By comparison, this project will produce at least 600,000 barrels per day.