Aradel Holdings (formerly the NDEP Group), is up scaling investment in crude refining adding value in the crude oil processing value chain as the company’s modular refinery close up towards refining Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also called petrol.
The indigenous oil and gas firm started off with pioneering the modular refinery with the 1,000-barrel Automotive Gas Oil, AGO train and further expanded to an 11,000-barrel in the future.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aradel Holdings, Mr Adegbite Falada, while speaking at rebranding of the company’s name to Aradel, confirmed that within less than 12 months from now, the firm is going to come on stream as the first privately-owned modular refinery into the refining of PMS and the reticulation of that within the domestic economy.
“But we’re going to go beyond that. As far as we’re concerned, we’re still scratching the surface. It’s a proof of concept we are at right now. And so what should you expect in the future? Expect a refinery that is going to be significantly larger in capacity than what we have.”
He said the company also pioneered the development of marginal Oil and Gas fields in Nigeria with the start of crude oil production in 2005 from Ogbele marginal field, located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 54, located in Ahoada East LGA, Rivers State and also the first non-JV partner (of NLNG) to deliver Gas production to the Bonny NLNG Plant.
Falade, also said the group became the first to commission and operate a private refinery in Nigeria, with the commissioning of a 1,000 barrels per day refinery train in 2010 that has since then been producing premium Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), popularly known as Diesel.
The refinery capacity was expanded in 2020 with the addition of two trains to increase its total refining capacity to 11,000 barrels per day, and producing other refined products in addition to AGO that includes Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), Marine Diesel Oil (MDO), Naphtha, and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). A fourth train of about 3,000 barrels per day, which is dedicated to Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) has been mechanically completed and will be commissioned soon.
The Group has utilized its crude oil production, internally generated funds, and locally sourced bank loans to finance the development and expansion of the Refinery. It has also repeatedly leveraged its in-house engineering and project management capabilities to successfully deliver the refinery trains to date.
The Group received its first License to Operate (LTO) from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2012 for the 1,000 bpd mini-refinery train. This License was the first of its kind to be granted to an Independent, publicly owned Nigerian Company and gave full authority to operate Train I.
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 spoke in Lagos on Friday during the rebranding of Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc (NDEP) to Aradel Holdings.
He said the grand unveiling and public launch of the company is strategic as the company will continue to make more giant strides adding, “The primary benefit of local refining is not price because you are still going to buy the crude at international oil prices.”
According to him, “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 added, “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 etc.
“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.”