He disclosed this during an interactive session with journalists yesterday in Abuja, even as he said that a total of $2.5 billion would be expended on the project. The construction according to him, would commence before the end of the year.
The project which he said was conceptualised in 2008 to leverage on the abundant oil and gas resources in the state to meet the energy requirements of the South-East zone, has an estimated capacity of 100,000 barrels per day, with allowances for future expansion to up to 250,000 bpd.
“The actualisation of Imo Refinery and Petrochemical Project will go a long way in meeting a key aspiration of the people of the South-East zone of the country and provide the desired dividend of democracy to the people of the zone both in terms of job creation and linked infrastructural and industrial development,” he said.
According to him, the project which was championed by the Imo State governor, Ikedi Ohakim, in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is in line with the gas conversion and job creation agenda of the federal government and its determination to meet the nation’s demand for petroleum products through domestic refining.
The project sited at the Egbema/Oguta industrial park, which also houses the federal government’s light vessels port facilities and naval base, according to him, would boost industrial development in the South- East zone.
The current oil and gas reserves estimates in Imo State, Chukwueke continued, stands at 21 million barrels proven oil reserves and 12 tcf proven gas reserves with ultimate potential of some ten times more, adding that the total production by the various companies’ operation in the state presently was about 26,000 bpd of crude oil and 250 million scf of natural gas per day.
He explained that the refinery project located in the heart of the oil and gas production belt in the state would be funded and driven by private sector investors in partnership with the NNPC and the Imo Petroleum Development Company.
“The private sector investors would be a consortium of proven refiners and upstream operators. The integration across the value chain will provide a commercial basis for the development of the project and provide the feedstock for the refinery project,” he added.
Key upstream investors he said has already been identified and are ready to commence the project as soon as final approvals are received