U.S.-based businessman, Mr Charles Ihaza, says he has acquired about 453.9 hectares of land to establish a modular refinery in Eghudu, Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo. Ihaza said this at an Open Forum organised on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed refinery in Benin.
He said that the project would cost over two billion U.S. dollars, adding that the refinery would produce about 80,000 barrels of refined petroleum products daily.
“I know what it takes to establish and manage a refinery, and we are already discussing with the relevant Federal Government agencies on the immediate commencement of the project.
“I decided to site the refinery in Eghudu so as to help our people back home in Nigeria, and I am very passionate about this project.
“As part of our social corporate responsibilities to the host community, we are going to construct roads, build satellite clinics, standard primary and secondary schools and a functional international market,’’ he said.
Ihaza, therefore, solicited the cooperation of the members of the community, urging them to work with the site engineers and other workers toward the successful execution of the project.
Earlier, Mr Larry Edosomwan, who presented the EIA Report on behalf of the consultants, Vokosen Ltd., said that the report had captured all the socio-economic needs of the host community.
“We have looked at the positive social and economic needs of the community, the aquatic environment, drainage and sewage management and treatment of effluents.
“Forests will not be destroyed and wherever it happens, we will plant new trees.
“We have ensured that we met all the requirements of the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). We will mitigate all negative environmental impacts,’’ he said.
Mr Joshua Taiwo, spokesman for the Minister of Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril, said that he was particularly happy that the project was named after the community.
Taiwo said that the refinery project would provide jobs for the people and improve the socio-economic lives of the residents of the area.