The Edo State Government has received a delegation from the government of Benin Republic who are in the state to explore investment opportunities in the state’s natural gas, minerals and other sectors, as opportunities in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area blossoms.
The delegation led by Benin Republic Special Adviser on Energy, Edouard Dahome, arrived at Duport Energy Park, in Egbokor, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, alongside representatives of its Nigerian partners, Genesis Energy Group and Kalaora Gas Marketing Company.
The energy park, operated by Duport Mainstream Company Limited was established on the back of reforms by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to reposition Edo as Nigeria’s leading industrial and manufacturing hub, and houses a 10,000-bpd modular refinery, 60-million-scf gas processing plant, 10-million-scf compressed natural gas (CNG) plant, 30,000-MT refined product terminal, and a 20MW embedded power plant.
The state also plays host to another refinery with a 6000bpd plant, positioning it as a frontier for continental trade in natural gas and petrochemicals. The State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, continues to advance reforms to transform the state into an investment haven.
Receiving the delegation, The Edo State Commissioner for Energy and Mining, Ethan Uzamere, said apart from the business-friendly policies of the state government which now makes the state attractive to investors, there are large deposits of natural resources for investment by the government of Benin Republic
He added, “Apart from the gas and oil, Edo State is blessed with abundant mineral resources. As the world is going into clean energy, Edo State just recently found that we have a large deposit of lithium and a high supply of bitumen, just to mention a few. We are a logistics hub which is one of the reasons we are developing our seaport which will help in the transportation of minerals and other commodities.”
Speaking on the purpose of the visit, Edouard Dahome stated that the on-site assessment became important to finalize investment in gas needed to power the energy sector of Benin Republic.
Dahome noted, “A few years ago, we decided that we will no longer accept the situation that we were in, which is that all the energy which we consumed was coming from abroad, either Nigeria or Ghana. So, we decided to be in a position to generate the energy that we are using.
“We built the first plant which has started generating today and we are talking about the need for gas for this plant which is about 40 megawatts as well as the other projects. Our objective is to become self-sufficient in terms of energy generation.”
Also, the Managing Director of Edo State Investment Promotion Office, ESIPO, Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi added that the state is open to receiving investments from public, private, and international investors, encouraging the government of Benin Republic to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the state.
He said, “Edo State is very attractive because it has the largest onshore gas reserve in the country. We are also a logistics hub which gives it access to markets all over Nigeria. Apart from the River Port, we are developing a dry port in Benin City.
“Most of the energy infrastructure comes through Edo State and as we speak, we are generating over 1000 megawatts of power that goes into the national grid and that makes us an energy hub. Also, with companies like Duport being here, it’s an opportunity to expand our platforms.”
On his part, the Chairman of Duport Midstream Energy Park, Akindele Akintoye appreciated the state government for the support, noting that the company, apart from gas and refining, generates power and stores and restores data.