The managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Aradel Holdings, Mr Adegbite Falada, has said, the company’s modular refinery will start operations soon, describing local refining of crude into petroleum products as very essential for Nigeria.
Speaking in Lagos on Friday during the rebranding of Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc (NDEP) to Aradel Holdings, Falade stated that, it will encourage import substitution which will reduce pressure on the nation’s foreign exchange, adding that, it will also create jobs in the country.
He said the grand unveiling and public launch of the company is strategic as the company will continue to make more giant strides, adding that, “the primary benefit of local refining is not price because you are still going to buy the crude at international oil prices.”
“The biggest value that local refining does is that it provides employment for Nigerians, it helps us with import substitution and so because you are not committing your scarce forex to import fuel, you are able to conserve your forex and it eases the pressure on the naira.
“Those benefits outweigh the issue of pricing. We will price in cost reflective in some instances, it means we are selling for less than it would have sold for if it were imported.
“But what is the most important and impact change we will see in local refining is import substitution in terms of forex and also providing jobs for people who are in the entire value chain of refining.
“We are driven by a steadfast commitment to deliver sustainable energy solutions that power economic growth while preserving the environment. With a legacy of expertise and a future-oriented mindset, we embrace the challenges to shape a brighter energy landscape for tomorrow.
“Our consistent growth is attributed to our innovation and adaptability which continue to propel us as industry pioneers who consistently deliver value to our stakeholders.
“Our relentless pursuit of operational excellence, profitability, cutting-edge technologies, strategic partnerships, and unwavering safety standards ensure that we consistently surpass expectations.
“Together, let us fuel growth, foster collaboration and lead the way towards a sustainable energy future,” he said.
He added that, “I think what we have done in the last 31 years of to prove the concept that we can operate responsibly, safely and by global standard and we can be a good defender of value for our shareholders.
“So what needs to be done for us is putting ourselves out there and signposting to all Nigerians that we are ready for the next level and that next level is one that we travel not with the existing shareholders but with other people. So it is had been an amazing journey for us.
“It is a fantastic occasion, we are extremely excited and we are happy that everything has gone well. The turn out of people from industry, practically everybody was there, from the regulators to the captains of industry and even the adjunct industries of the service sector, finance, everybody was there.
“Personally for me, it is emotional that I am holding the steering wheel at this point. So it means a lot to me. It means a lot of recognition of what my colleagues and I do and a lot of trust for what we are charged to do going forward. So that is what it means for us.
“We are going to see a scale-up of what we are already doing today. Today, we are in the extraction and production of hydrocarbon resources oil and gas.
“We are going to see that in a more significant proportion. Today we are into refined products, so we will refine and reticulate AGO, Kerosene, marine diesel oil, and so on.
“We are going to see an addition of PMS to this as an additional offering in terms of downstream products. Also in the near horizon, we are getting into the gas stream petrochemical industry. So we are going to see a lot more of what we currently do but responsibly scaling up.
“We have also started the journey of sustainable renewable offerings. So today, we are piloting mini-grid electricity to 4 villages that are not connected to the grid, using solar.
“So we are going to see more of that. One thing that is peculiar to us is that we are always pioneering, launching and determining what the next direction is. What you will see is a continuation and sustenance of that legacy.”
The chief executive officer, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Farouk Ahmed, lauded Aradel for its great achievements in the industry.
Ahmed, represented by the executive director, Hydrocarbon Processing Plants, Installations and Transportation Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Mr.Francis Alabo Ogare, also harped on local refining.
Ahmed said: “NMDPRA wishes to recognise the excellence set by NDEP Plc and all its subsidiaries in the upstream and midstream sector of the oil and gas operations in Nigeria over the last three decades. NMDPRA is fully aware of NDEP’s investment in the midstream sector, which is the authority’s purview comprising gas processing plant, transportation infrastructure and modular refinery.”
The executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, reiterated the importance of local content adherence by industry stakeholders.
He stated that, such would create employment for Nigerians.
Wabote, who spoke virtually, also praised Aradel for its giant strides in the industry.
He said: “NDEP is being rebranded to Aradel Holdings Plc. I have followed the history of Aradel Plc In the past three decades, Aradel has pioneered several initiatives, in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria as an indigenous producer. It is on record that the company pioneered the concept of marginal field operations.
“It is one of the most integrated oil and gas companies in Nigeria as an indigenous producer. They are existing in upstream, midstream and downstream. The company pioneered modular refinery initiatives.
“Local content development which is gaining momentum in the entire African continent, should be supported, and enhanced in order to create jobs and enhance technology and develop our natural given resources which is oil.”