France’s Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, has announced a new contract between French hydrocarbons company, Axens and Nigerian industrial conglomerate, BUA Group to build a large refinery.
This, he says, will be beneficial for bilateral relations
Axens and BUA Group signed a deal on the new refinery project in Paris on Tuesday.
According to the agreement, Axens gets to license the key refinery technologies to the BUA Group.
The refinery is expected to start operating by 2024 and will have the capacity to produce 200,000 barrels per day.
“As both France & Nigeria face a tough challenge ahead due to COVID-19, I believe that tightening our bonds will allow us to become more resilient. This deal is a very positive signal for the French-Nigerian partnership,” Riester wrote on Twitter.
Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman of the BUA Group, who attended the signing ceremony, says that the project is vital for Nigeria. The country currently imports 90 percent of petroleum products and expects to lower refined fuel imports.
Axens won the project over U.S. company, Honeywell UOP.
Rabiu, who was appointed Chairperson of the Franco-Nigerian Investors’ Club, initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, in an interview with France-based The Africa Report magazine said the French leader “has given special determination and support to this project.”
Axens CEO, Jean Sentenac, considers the contract profitable for the French economy, which has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project is to be located in Akwa Ibom, South-east Nigeria.
Production will include export to other African countries but will prioritise the domestic market.
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