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The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has committed over $1 million as grant towards the construction of a 20,000-barrels-per-day crude oil refinery in Lagos by a Nigerian petrochemical and refining company.

The grant will go towards financing the detailed analysis of supporting technologies and engineering design for the implementation of a 20,000 bpd crude oil refinery.
Eko Petrochem and Refining Company said it has selected VFuels, LLC, a Texas based company to carry out the analysis.

The Chairman, Eko Petrochem and Refining Company, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho said the fund received will help ensure the timely completion of the proposed development and the attainment of the underlying economic and social impact envisaged.

Iheanacho said several studies, including the front-end engineering design as well as the environmental impact assessment, had been completed, adding that about $250m would be required to complete the refinery.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who was represented by the Executive Director/Coordinator, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Refinery, Downstream and Infrastructural Development, Mr. Rabiu Suleiman, promised to provide all the necessary support required by the company to make the refinery a reality.

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He also commended the commitment of Iheanacho to the refinery project, adding that financing was one of the major challenges facing most of those that had been licenced to build refineries in the country.

We all know it is very difficult to raise funds and, therefore, when you hear that the USTDA is extending its hands of fellowship and support to provide the initial seed funding required to go beyond the detailed engineering design, that also shows that behind him (the visionary of this project) there is a partner that is likely to support and provide the financing required to establish the refinery, he said.

He said he was working hard to see how the company could be granted a pioneer status and secure various duty waivers, import facilitation of equipment and engineering review.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington also commended Iheanacho for the commitment to the project, stating that the construction of the refinery is timely.

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The Managing Director, VFuels, Mr. Souheil Abboud, also expressed the company’s willingness and commitment towards the success of the project; he added that they are excited that the USTDA share the same vision and commitment.

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