Petrolex builds largest tank farm in sub-Saharan Africa

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The chairman of indigenous oil and gas conglomerate, Petrolex Group, Mr Segun Adebutu spoke to journalists on Tuesday while taking them on a tour of the company’s newly-built Mega Oil City, located at Ibefun in Ogun State. The Oil City houses a massive tank farm, reputed to be the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

The Petrolex mega tank farm contains 20 huge tanks, each with a capacity of 15 million litres, making the total capacity of the facility 300 million litres. The storage facility is designed to bridge the petroleum products supply gap in the West African sub-region. With a 250,000-bpd refinery in the pipeline, Petrolex also hopes to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on importation of petroleum products.

The oil city also contains residential quarters, army barracks, 30 loading gantries, a gas processing plant, vessels, and a 4000-truck capacity park with accommodation for drivers. Petrolex plans to complete its refinery and a lube plant within the next five years.

Mr Adebutu’s father, Adebutu Kesington, is the founder of Premier Lotto, popularly known as Baba Ijebu. He is a close friend of Olusegun Obasanjo.

While answering questions about why he decided to embark on such an ambitious project, Mr Adebutu said he started trading in oil and gas in 2004. Having lived in Apapa, he realized something had to be done to reduce the traffic congestion along the road. According to him, the new Petrolex tank farm will significantly ease congestion on the Apapa and Ibafo routes by 70%.

The Apapa axis has been overwhelmed by the density of tank farms and other facilities located there and congestion along that route has created so much problems for the people.

The Ibafo axis which has other tank farms is also congested, causing unnecessary vehicular traffic along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

Both Ibafo and Apapa are accessible via one route respectively. Ibefun, however, is strategically located and easily accessible via three land routes.

 

“You can come in through Ikorodu, you can also access it from the Lekki Corridor via Epe. Lastly, it can be reached from the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, via Sagamu. Ibefun also has access to the sea, via a river that flows behind the tank farm. The river links to the Lekki Channel, which is connected to the Lagos Lagoon.  Also, Ibefun is near the NIGERIA SYSTEM 2B oil pipeline at Mosimi,” the chairman said

On the facilities on ground to facilitate movement of cargo via the waterway due to the shallowness of the water connecting to the tank farm, the Chairman said Petrolex has procured 10 barges, 2 tugboats and a daughter vessel for easy transportation. The company is also expecting additional 6 barges and 6 tugboats. The daughter vessel can take 16, 000 tonnes of products. The cargo will be brought in from the sea and floated downstream to the tank farm jetty in barges. The barges will be pulled by the tugboats.

In the future after the refinery kicks off, microtunneling technique will be used as it applies in Netherlands. The crude for the refinery will be brought in through microtunnels.

Mr Adebutu says as at last valuation, the project was estimated at $300 million by PwC. Speaking to journalists, the Petrolex chairman said the total planned investment on the site within the next 10-15 years will amount to $5-6 billion. This will include a refinery, set to cost $3.5billion and a lube plant that will take $8.5million.

The chairman revealed that the company planned to build over 1,500 petrol stations across Africa in the coming years. The internal truck park can take up to 4,000 trucks loading fuel and going to different parts of the country and the West African sub-region. There are also MoUs signed with the Lagos state government to build 100 petrol stations in the state in the coming years.

On Tuesday, December 12, the facility will be commissioned. Expected at the event are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President of Ghana, John Kufour, outgoing president of Liberia, Johnson Sirleaf, and the Minister of State for Petroleum resources. Others are the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, and GMD of NNPC, Maikantu Baru.

Welcome to a new world of endless possibilities!

 

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