* Pledges 15,000 jobs
By FESTUS OKOROMADU
The Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) has conferred the Oil and Gas Free Zone Developer status on Notore Chemical Industries Plc.
According to the Authority, the decision followed the company’s satisfactory compliance with the requirements for a free zone developer licence.
At the licence presentation ceremony in OGFZA’s office in Abuja on Monday, the Managing Director of OGFZA, Mr Umana Okon Umana, said government was pleased with the prospect that Notore Oil and Gas Free Zone will attract more than $5 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) into country and create 15,000 jobs with its new status as a free zone developer.
Umana said OGFZA licensed Notore Chemical Industries Plc to operate as an Oil and Gas Free Zone Developer in line with sections 9 and 10 of the OGFZA Act and sections 32 and 33 of the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Regulations 2003.
“I am happy to report that having met the statutory requirements, Notore Chemical Industries Plc has been granted a Free Zone Developer Licence by the Authority within the area so designated under the Act of 1996,” the managing director of OGFZA said.
The MD advised Notore Chemical Industries Plc “to note and comply with continuing obligations of a licensee as provided under section 34 of the 2003 Regulations”, even as he promised an enabling environment for investors in the new free zone.
Notore Chemical Industries Plc, a Nigerian agro-allied, petrochemicals and Power Company, is located within the Eleme industrial hub of Rivers State.
On his part, Group Managing Director of Notore Chemical Industries, Mr Onajite Okoloko, said at the licensing ceremony that the Free Zone Developer Status “will propel the company and indeed Nigeria to become one of the largest petrochemical, fertilizer, refining, methanol, power, E&P logistics and hydrocarbon processing hubs in the world.
“Notore is in discussion with a number of international petrochemical, oil and gas logistics support companies as well as leading financial and strategic investors that have expressed interest and are at various levels of negotiations to invest in the project”, he added.
He further hinted that “he fertilizer and petrochemicals component of the project alone is expected to attract $5 billion investments” when it comes on stream in the next two years.
Okoloko said the new Oil and Gas Free Zone has attractions that investors will find hard to resist, including more than 559 hectares of land, a dedicated gas pipeline, 50MW of embedded power plant, more than 2km of shoreline and 7500 sqm of jetty dock.
He explained that Notore Oil and Gas Free Zone will help to diversify the economy by frog leaping the country to become the hub of petrochemicals in Africa.
He said with this, the firm will also add value to the nation’s oil and gas resources, as against mere export of crude oil and gas as well as increasing revenue streams for government, attracting more FDI and generating more jobs.
Onajite described OGFZA as a “very important enabler of industrialization in Nigeria”, adding that “we look forward to continuing to work towards the achievement of Notore’s goal of being a world-class industrial complex”.