MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, at the weekend commissioned the biggest jetty reputed as the largest maritime acquisition in the Continent of Africa.
Key government functionaries, including the minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachikwu and his power, works and housing, transport, trade and investment at the commissioning witnessed the discharge of 80,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, (PMS) also called petrol by a vessel MT NAVIG8.
The facility, with the capability to berth a vessel of 60,000 tons is the first of its kind in the country with installed capacity to hold 120,000 metric tonnes of petroleum products.
Speaking at the unveiling of the state of the art infrastructure located at TinCan Port, Lagos, managing director of MRS, Sayyu Dantata described the project as very strategic to the overall development and growth of the downstream chain of the country’s oil and gas sector.
Dantata said, full utilisation of the infrastructure would save the country about $200 million per annum.
He explained that the project was conceived to drastically bring down foreign exchange spent on demurrage and trans-shipment of products from mother vessels bringing products to the country but had to berth in neighbouring countries.
Before the expansion, the jetty could only receive 10,000 metric tonnes of petroleum product and was not deep enough to berth bigger vessels.
Dantata said that “Our achievement here is that we have put Tin Can terminal in Nigeria into the international shipping arena for 80,000 metric tonne to 120,000 metric tonnes vessels’ calling ports within Africa.
He added , “With our capability to berth vessels of this size, we can conveniently save the country a minimum of about $2 million per voyage and this can be as much as $200 million per annum currently wasted due to ship-to-ship operations, shallow drafts and delays,”.
He said he was passionate about developing in-country capacity, creating employment and creating value in the industry.
Dantata, said with the commissioning of the project, the nation is closer to achieving its aspiration of exporting white products to the sub regional market.
“The facility is now operational and receiving large vessels for imported products and but again can serve the purpose of helping export which before now would not have been possible,” he said.
In his remarks, minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachikwu said, MRS has proved to be a leading operator in the downstream sector of the oil industry.
Kachikwu pointed that the company’s acquisition of Chevron Texaco downstream operations was a major feat that further expanded its operations in the West Africa sub-region.
The minister said MRS has carved a niche for her self as a key strategic investor in the industry, adding that with the expansion of the jetty the company has opened new frontier that will save the country huge foreign exchange and loss time in product trans-shipment.
Kachikwu said the facility will attract more investment and add value to operations of indigenous ship owners.
He particularly commended the company for investing in Information Technology as part of key component of the facility.
“I am personally delighted that this facility is IT compliant, this will certainly lead to operational efficiency and real time product delivery”, he added.
Speaking also, the director general of NIMASA, Dakuku Peter-side, described the facility as the, ‘Biggest Maritime Acquisition’ in Africa in recent time.
Peter-side said that completion of the project was a rare feat which has the capacity to berth large vessel.
“We have a lot of potentials in this country and as government we will continue to encourage investments like this. This also goes to demonstrate that our cabotage law is working.
I can assure you with this kind of investment being witnessed today, in the next one year our rating as a country will grow significantly”, he said.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara in his comments said the project would have multiplier effect on the economy and its expansion will help to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
Dogara further commended the company saying that the project will help Nigeria realise its objectives of creating more jobs for the unemployed.
On his part, Power, Works and Housing minister, Babantunde Raji Fashola assured that government will continue to support indigenous investors stressing that the commissioning of the project was apt as it aligns with federal governments economic strategy that was unveiled during the week.
Fashola said the project will further facilitate ongoing efforts to resolve the country’s energy crises.
The minister said government is speeding up the process of completing major road rehabilitation especially the Lagos-Ibadan, Tegina, Ogbomosho roads which are major artery through which petroleum products are hauled.
MRS Oil Nigeria Plc is a Nigeria-based company engaged in oil trading, shipping, storage, distribution and retailing and also engages in the business of marketing and distribution of refined petroleum products, blending of lubricants and manufacturing of greases.
The Company operates through three segments, Retail/Commercial & Industrial, Aviation and Lubricants.