Eraskon Nigeria breaks ground on new industrial manufacturing complex

During a grand ceremony held in Yenagoa earlier today, Eraskon Nigeria has officially broken ground on its 64,000 litres per day lubricants blending plant at Gbarain in Bayelsa State. The groundbreaking was preceded by a ceremony marking the launch of the company’s new ERASKO GOLD lubricants products line.

Both functions were attended by key Nigerian officials, including former President Dr. Goodluck E. Jonathan and Engr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

Eraskon Nigeria is the company executing the project as a joint-venture between ERASKORP Nigeria and the NCDMB. The facility is expected to be commissioned in December 2022 and will help in meeting increasing domestic demand for high quality lubricants, engine oil, transmission fuels, engine coolers and specialty products such as waxes.

“Nigeria consumes 800 million litres of engine oil and lubricants every year and its consumption continues to grow by 5% per annum,” said Engr. Simbi Wabote during the ceremony in Yenagoa. “Nigeria’s in-country blending capacity stands at only 150 million litres so we have a huge gap that remains met by imports,” he added.

“Eraskon Nigeria’s project will result in the building of a world-class facility producing a range of high-quality lubricants for the Nigerian market,” declared Maxwell Oko, Vice Chairman and CEO at ERASKORP. “This plant is the first step in realizing our vision to build an industrial conglomerate in the Niger Delta,” he added.

The lubricants blending plant is being built on 8ha of land, out of a total 50ha acquired around Shell’s Gbarain gas hub. The company envisions to further integrate its operations in the future by producing drilling and production chemicals, turbine oil and house products such as detergents and aerosols.

Gbrain is increasingly emerging as a local content hub housing some of Nigeria’s newest energy infrastructure. The 12,000 barrels per day (bpd) Azikel Refinery is currently nearing completion at the same location, while Rungas expects to commission its LPG composite cylinder manufacturing unit there as well this year.

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Togo becomes first in Africa to be connected to Equinao subsea cable

In collaboration with Google, Société d’Infrastructures Numériques (SIN) and CSquared, Togo became last week the first landing point of the Equiano subsea cable in Africa. President Faure Gnassingbé inaugurated it on Friday at the autonomous port of Lomé. The cable is part of Google’s $1bn plan to build African digital capacity, and will also land in Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa later this year. The landing in Nigeria is scheduled in April 2022, according to sources within Google that Hawilti spoke to. Equinao was first introduced by Google in 2019 and will ultimately run from Europe to Africa via Portugal. While Nigeria was initially set to be its first landing point, Togo made a successful case to Google since then that Equinao should have a landing point in the country. The country of 8m was already the first in West Africa to launch a 5G network in 2020. This new cable is fully funded by Google, making it its third private international cable after Dunant (USA-France) and Curie (USA-Chile), and its 14th subsea cable investment globally. It is named after Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist who was enslaved as a boy. Equiano is based on space-division multiplexing (SDM) technology and will offer 20 times more bandwidth than any other cable currently serving West Africa, and result in affordable internet access for millions in the region. Research commissioned by Google expects the cable to help a country like Togo double internet speeds within three years and reduce internet prices by 14%. “We strive to be a digital hub for innovation and investment as we demonstrate our commitment to enhancing public and social services for all of our citizens. This historic moment will boost economic growth in Togo too, creating 37,000 new jobs between 2022 and 2025 and increasing economic output by an additional $351 million,” said Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Digital Transformation of Togo.

FAR Ltd to withdraw from Guinea-Bissau exploration blocks

Australian independent Far has commenced steps to withdraw from its interests in the Esperanca Blocks 4A & 5A and Sinapa Block 2 offshore Guinea Bissau, the company said today. The licenses are operated by PetroNor E&P with a 78.57% interest while FAR holds the remaining 21.43%. In October 2020, the current exploration phases for the blocks were extended for 3 years and are now valid until October 2023, with an obligation to drill an exploration well. Since 2021, PetroNor and FAR had been undertaking a full review of a potential well location for the 2023 program. The Atum Propsect is believed to be the key drill target and is mapped to contain Best Estimate Prospective Resource of 471m barrels (unrisked P50). FAR’s exit from Guinea-Bissau follows its exit from the Sangomar Offshore Oil Project offshore Senegal last year after being in default of payment. However, FAR continues to be present offshore The Gambia, where it is operator with a 50% interest of Blocks A2 & A5. While the results of its Bambo-1 well on Block A2 were unsuccessful, FAR did not throw the towel and has highgraded three of the four mapped prospects for potential drilling: Panthera in Block A2, and Jatto and Malo in Block A5. The company’s best estimate (P50) for these three prospects is of 1.5 billion barrels of prospective resource volumes.