Richard Ginika Izuora
Integrated energy provider, Eterna Plc, has earned about N4.1 billion in profit and is now expanding its downstream operations by making investment decisions across midstream sector.
The company with a new management says it is investing in the deployment of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) skids across some of its retail outlets in the country.
The newly appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Director of Eterna PLC, Mr Benjamin Nwaezeigwe said this at a news briefing in Lagos.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Benjamin was appointed the Acting Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer in April 2022.
Nwaezeigwe said the move was aimed at supporting the effort of the Federal Government to deepen gas utilisation in Nigeria in line with the global energy transition.
“The industry is moving toward CNG and LPG and as a company, we have started positioning ourselves for that.”
“We are deploying skids in our existing retail outlets across the country and we also hope to go into LPG storage in the near future,’’ he said.
Nwaezeigwe said that marketers were currently facing a myriad of challenges including lack of access to foreign exchange, high bank interest rates, challenges with the sourcing of products from NNPC, unavailability of vessels to transport white fuels to depots, increased prices of freight and volatility of the naira against the US Dollar.
He said this was further worsened by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine which had created a crisis in the global oil and gas industry.
Nwaezeigwe, therefore, suggested that deregulating the industry will enable more investors to come in and also, lowering the barriers to entry will allow the establishment of modular refineries in strategic locations. In his opinion, these efforts will increase domestic refining capacity and resolve the supply challenges in the industry.
He said in spite of these challenges, Eterna Plc posted a gross profit of N4.1 billion for the half year ended June 30, 2022.
He said that the figure which was 57.9 per cent higher than the N2.6 billion gross profit recorded in the corresponding period of 2021, was achieved on the back of increased operating activities, improved efficiency, staff dedication and a new energy in the organisation brought about by the new leadership vision.
Also speaking, Mrs Phoebean Ifeadi, the Executive Director, Corporate Services, Eterna Plc, said the company had invested more than N20 million in the past two years in donations and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
“In 2022, we intend to deepen the engagement with one of our host communities in Ogun State to empower the youths in the locality.”
“We want to empower them to get a better life and our plan will be of immense benefit to the beneficiaries.”
In his remarks, the Chief Financial Officer of Eterna Plc, Mr. Abudukerimu Sule, said Nigeria should not be carried away by the current wave of the energy transition, arguing that the country’s focus at the moment should rather be on achieving energy security.
Noting that Africa ranks the least in energy consumption per capita, the CFO said it was imperative for both political and business leaders in Nigeria to collaborate with their counterparts in other African countries to ensure massive investment in energy within the African space in the most cost-effective way.
“You can always play catch up in the renewable energy space which is the main issue as of today and to that extent, there is a new Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) policy encouraging companies to report what they do in the renewable space.
Majorly, collaboration should be the key answer here, where key leaders within the African region pool resources together, bringing a blend of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). You look at the poverty level in Africa, what do we have to go into renewable energy now? I believe energy security should be the way forward,” Sule stated.
The new Managing Director, Mr. Nwaezeigwe, will bring his wealth of experience spanning almost two decades from different sectors of the economy with a specific bias for Oil & Gas.
It may interest you to know that he worked at Rainoil Limited and rose to the position of Group Head, Operations overseeing trading and marine activities and the operation of 3 (three) petroleum products storage depots. Prior to joining Eterna Plc as the Chief Operating Officer in December 2021, he founded BHR International Ventures Limited (BHR), a privately owned indigenous downstream company in Nigeria and was its former Chief Executive Officer.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Chemistry from Ambrose Ali University, as well as an MBA in Production and Operation Management from Lagos State University, Lagos.
Eterna Plc manufactures, markets and distributes lubricants and chemicals and operates a network of filling stations. Its plan is to further increase its retail network across the country.
It plans to actively play across the energy value chain covering the production, transportation and distribution of energy solutions vital for economic growth and development. It will be the Company of first choice for its customers as it seeks to dominate the African Energy industry by strategically expanding operations and growing its market share.