Safinet Group, a Russian firm, has expressed its readiness to establish a 7,000 barrels per day capacity refinery in Calabar with a provision to increase production between 60,000 to 65, 000 barrels a day.Chairman of Safinet, Arsen Mudonov disclosed this during a meeting with the state governor, Ben Ayade in Calabar recently.Mudonov disclosed that his group decided to choose Cross River to establish the refinery because of the peace and tranquility that the state is known for in addition to the hospitable nature of the people.
He said his company is into construction, oil and gas with advanced technology in the construction of oil and gas equipment and machineries.He said the company has been expanding its operations to different parts of the world including Africa in the last five years.
“We would be taking advantage of the conducive and peaceful environment of Cross River and Calabar in particular to establish the refinery of 7,000 barrels production capacity a day which will be increased to 65,000 barrels a day in the near future.
Responding, Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade said his administration has turned the state into an investors’ haven by creating a conducive atmosphere for investment.
Governor Ayade reiterated that the peaceful and hospitable nature of the state and its citizens were recently attested to by the outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Erntwhistle, who picked the state as his most favourite place in Nigeria.
Ayade informed the delegation that Cross River state is always the first port of call and choice for investors and that the state is on the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean in the south, which makes it a good candidate for oil and gas business.
“If you are putting a refinery and your sources of shipping in the crude is by barges then the refinery being located by the waterside becomes easy. Even if you want a solid land location, we also have solid earth where you can have access to bring in your crude by barges and then have pipelines to take the crude to your refinery, he said.
“Cross River is close to so many oil wells, so building your refinery here is like eating your cake and having it. We have good roads; we are building a super highway and a deep seaport at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean. Again, Cross River is closer to Russian than any other place in Nigeria in terms of seaport”, Ayade said.
In his remarks, the leader of the delegation and Chief Executive officer (CEO), Hkzain Corporation Limited, Mallam Muhammad Attahiru, said that they were in the state to present technological innovation in the area of oil and gas that will provide job opportunities to the people in line with the vision and policy thrust of Governor Ben Ayade’s administration.