LAGOS, Nigeria–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The creation of a new Oil and Gas Free Zone in Nigeria will become Africa’s largest petrochemical processing hub – paving the way for renewed foreign investment in the region.
Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) conferred Oil and Gas Free Zone Developer status on homegrown company, Notore Chemical Industries Plc (Notore), an agro-allied, chemicals and power company, earlier this month.
The new free zone enterprise, Notore Chemical Industries FZE, will create an oil and gas processing hub in Onne, Rivers State, which will be one of the largest in the region, boosting Nigeria’s status as a global player in the market.
OGFZA Managing Director, Umana Okon Umana, says the government hopes the project will attract significant foreign direct investments (FDI) and create up to 15,000 jobs. He indicated that the Authority will ensure that an ‘enabling environment’ is provided for investors in the Free Zone, by ensuring that incentives provided by law are accessed.
Speaking at the licensing ceremony, Notore Group Managing Director, Onajite Okoloko, said their Free Zone Developer status will bring “great opportunities” for Nigerian and international investors.
“They will be impressed by over 559 hectares of land, a dedicated gas pipeline, 50MW of embedded power plant, more than 2km of shoreline and 7500 sq m of jetty dock. Investments in the Free Zone will be free of corporate, income and associated import taxes.” Okoloko went on to say that Notore’s free zone development will help to diversify Nigeria’s economy, supporting the country to become Africa’s leading petrochemicals hub.
Prior to the Free zone award, Notore had entered into a strategic gas sales agreement with Eroton Exploration & Production (Eroton) which holds over 4.0 trillion standard cubic feet of natural gas located 14 kilometers away from the Notore site. It is anticipated that access to significant gas from Eroton, alongside the Notore Free Zone with its port and logistics infrastructure, will create the right environment for the petrochemical development.
Notore has commenced discussions with Mitsubishi Corporation on developing a methanol plant at the site and is seeking alliances with other petrochemical, oil and gas logistics and infrastructure companies and financial and strategic investors to participate in developing the Free Zone.
Okoloko describes OGFZA as a very important enabler of industrialization in Nigeria, adding: “This zone will diversify the company’s focus on refining, methanol, power, E&P logistics and hydrocarbon processing. I also hope that it will spur wider growth in the Nigerian economy, moving economic activity towards the higher end of the value chain. We look forward to continuing to work towards the achievement of Notore’s goal of being a world-class industrial complex.”
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