Jonathan, Sylva break ground on Bayelsa lubricant plant

Former President Goodluck Jonathan and Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, have broken ground on a lubricant and chemical blending plant in Gbarain, Yenagoa Bayelsa

Simbi Wabote, executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to deepen local content and reduce the importation of products that could be produced locally.

Wabote spoke on behalf of the agency and Sylva, at the ground-breaking of the ERASKON 64,000-litre-day Lubricant and Chemical Blending plant and product launch ceremony.

ERASKON Nigeria Limited is an arm of the ERASKOP industrial and infrastructure conglomerate, which includes Erasko Energy Limited and Eraskorp FPSL.

According to Wabote, Nigeria currently consumes about 250 million litres of engine oils per annum, and this consumption grows at more than five percent every year due to the addition of new vehicles and machinery.

“The in-country blending capacity has remained constant at about 150 million litres, showing a shortage of about 100million litres. This shortfall is met by importation of finished lube oil products with the attendant loss of revenue and job opportunities,” he said.

According to the NCDMB boss, the partnership with ERASKON is in line with the agency’s mandate to develop local capacity in the oil and gas sector.

“Section 70(h) of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010 mandates the Board to assist local contractors and Nigerian companies to develop their capabilities and capacities to further the attainment of the goal of developing Nigerian Content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry,” he said.

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Wabote commended the vision of ERASKON’s management in setting the lubricant plant, which, according to him, will provide jobs for over 200 persons and over 800 indirectly.

To demonstrate faith in the ERASKON range of lubricants, the local content boss who performed the ground-breaking ceremony on behalf of Sylva, directed the use of ERASKO oil and lubricants in all NCDMB vehicles.

In his welcome address, Maxwell Oko, executive vice chairman of ERASKORP Nigeria Limited, pointed out that Nigeria consumes about 700 million litres of lubricants yearly, accounting for about 20 percent of Africa’s total demand.

“The idea of building a lubricants blending plant follows our determination to contribute to Nigeria’s industrial development. Lubricants are the lifeline of every engine,” he said.

Oko commended the partnership ERASKON has with the NCDMB, saying, “Our confidence was further boosted by our partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) who, from their investment in us, demonstrated a clear commitment to our vision.

“Specifically, this lubricants blending project aims at providing employment, developing local manufacturing capacity and increasing local content participation in the industry.

“We believe our people can grow better with proper transfer of knowhow and the best way to aid that process is to site companies where such knowhow can be put to use closer to them. We want all Bayelsans, Niger Deltans and indeed Nigerians to see this project as part of our own achievements in commerce and industry.”

Jonathan, who performed the product launch, congratulated Wabote for supporting ERASKON’s lubricant project just as he supported the Azikiel Refinery.

“Today is a happy day for me, that we are seeing this in Bayelsa. This project will attract other investments and increase the revenue of the state,” he said.

The former president advised other youths in the state to emulate Oko by attracting investments to the state.

The ERASKON Lubricant and Chemical Blending Plant is built on the 50 ERASKORP Industrial Manufacturing Complex in Gbarain, Bayelsa State.

The plant is expected to produce 64,000 litres per day of lubricants including engine oils, transmission fluids, hydraulic fluids, specialised four-wheel-drive products, engine coolants and specialty products such as waxes.

The facility also has the capacity to produce industrial chemicals such as drilling and production chemicals as well as transformer and turbine oil, and household products such as detergents and aerosols.

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