• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Indorama-Eleme Petrochemicals targets listing on the NSE

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… plans to raise investment to cumulative $4.2bn by 2020

Nigeria’s pioneer petrochemicals company, which has since been acquired by Indorama Group has revealed plans to enlist on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in about three years.   
Manish Mundra, managing director and chief executive officer of Indorama-Eleme Petrochemicals Limited and  Indorama-Eleme Fertiliser,  disclosed this in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay in Port Harcourt.
 
Mundra said; “It should happen in the next two to three years. To tell you the truth, the market has not been very good. If it had been bullish, we would have done it earlier.”
 
He did not however disclose the percentage of equity the owners were ready to shed, to allow the public pick up shares, but made it clear that Nigerians already own 35 percent of the company.
 
He said; “If you see our numbers, Indorama owns 65 per cent. Nigerians own 35 per cent. We want the largest share by the public to be in our company.”
 
He explained that Indorama wants to go public because of its growth plan in the country.
 
 “We intend to list because we have plans to grow. We see Nigeria as a place we can play long term. We see huge potentials and we have set our target. We need funds and see the Stock Exchange as the place to secure funds to invest more and more.”
 
Mundra further said that the company wants more Nigerians to participate in the success story of the petrochemicals and fertiliser firm.
 
Indorama may wish to go public to raise funds as Nigeria may be opening up its petrochemicals gate, since the country is blessed with an abundance of oil and gas reserves, especially associate gas. Mundra said; “If the policy framework is made to attract foreign investors, Nigeria can take in about $20 billion investments in three years”.
 
He also disclosed that Nigeria’s petrochemicals could earn the country as high as $20 billion (N6.2 trillion) but that only about 10 per cent of this has so far been taken up by Indorama Nigeria operations, with its current investment of $2.1 billion. He said  Eleme supplies about 650 companies raw materials, despite operating at only about 75 per cent installed capacity.
 
He further observed that Nigeria’s competitors, such as Iran, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, have been able attract over $90 billion or N28 trillion in the past 15 years, in the petro chemicals sector, while Nigeria was still at a mere $2.1 billion or N651 billion invested by Indorama so far.
 
He added that the huge investments in Nigeria’s petrochemicals sector would reduce dependence on crude oil exports, as is now the case with Middle East countries which rate alongside Nigeria in crude oil. 
 
Outlining the huge advantage Nigeria has in the sector, he said, “There is the presence of abundant feedstock (hydrocarbons) and Nigeria is strategically located. Nigeria is strategically located in the Western Hemisphere. Nigeria is like $12 cheaper in freight from the Middle East. We can easily become a petrochemicals hub of the world in this place, because we have an amazing shoreline, great location, educated manpower, and feedstock; what else do we need? That is huge potential.”
Indorama plans to invest at least $4.2bn or N1.3 trillion in the coming years to improve its competitiveness in the global hydrocarbon industry.