The BUA Group and Axens, a France-based petroleum technology company, Wednesday reviewed and signed statements of acknowledgement of the level of progress achieved on the former’s proposed multi-billion-dollar integrated 200,000 barrel per day refinery and petrochemical plant to be situated in Akwa Ibom State.
The event came about six months after both companies signed an agreement for the supply of process technologies and the design of the facility.
The ceremony, which took place in Lagos, had in attendance the Chairman of the BUA Group, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu, France’s Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Mr. Franck Riester, as well as some other top French government officials. But the CEO of Axens, Jean Sentenac, joined the meeting through a virtual platform.
Rabiu said Axens was chosen because of the company’s track record.
He said: “The refinery is a 200,000 bpd project, which will be located in Akwa Ibom State. It took us quite a bit of time to decide on the company to handle this project and at the end of the day, Axens, a French company, was selected. So, we are really pleased to have chosen Axens, one of the best in the world.
“The company has been involved in this type of project for many. Last year, we signed the agreement for the design and the technology last year. Today, we are signing another agreement. We are also working with KBR. So, today we have reviewed and signed statements of acknowledgement of what has been achieved. So, we are making good progress. Axens, KBR and BUA have been working together for some time.”
He expressed optimism that the project would commence this year, with the expectation that it would be completed within four years.
He, however, declined to comment on the cost of the project.
“There is an aspect of the refinery project whereby at the end of the day you would be able to use a different oil that can be used for renewable. From the refinery, we would be able to process crude oil, there is a petrochemical, which is also about 280,000 tonnes and the agreement for that would be signed hopefully next week. But the technology for the refinery is coming from Axens,” Rabiu stated.
Riester described the partnership between the BUA Group and Axens as a good symbol of President Emmanuel Macron’s desire to boost the relationship between Nigeria and France.
“That is also same for President Muhammadu Buhari. They are committed to this direction. This partnership between BUA and Axens is an excellent symbol of that. It is also a good symbol of the commitment of the Chairman of the BUA Group, Rabiu, in this direction.
“That is, the direction of strengthening and deepening the partnership between French companies and Nigerian companies. I am glad to be here to support this partnership. There is a need to support the long-term investment of French companies in Nigeria and Nigerian companies in France. We are proud that a French company is involved in this project,” he added.
Sentenac said he was pleased to sign the progress statement.
He said his company was committed to delivering quality technology that would bring about a landmark refinery.
“This refinery would be one of the best in Africa. 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,” he added.