Indorama Eleme Petrochemical Limited (IEPL) plans to invest $4.4bn in its operations by 2019 to become the largest petrochemical company in Africa, its Managing Director, Mr. Manish Mundra, has said.
Briefing members of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, led by its Chairman, Senator Olugbenga Obadara who were at the plant last week in continuation of their oversight visit to privatised enterprises in Rivers State, the chief executive said $575million had been injected into the company since privatisation and that N33.9 billion had been paid as dividend to the federal and Rivers State governments since its acquisition from the federal government in 2006.
He gave the breakdown of the N33.9 billion dividend paid as N8.71billion to Rivers State and N25.2 billion to the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Mundra disclosed that the company also paid about N15.61 billion in taxes to the federal and state governments. These include value added tax, customs duty, withholding taxes and Pay As You Earn (PAYE).
The MD explained that the company which is currently the largest integrated olefins producer in West Africa has a work force of 1585, most of who are Nigerians. He added that production had increased from four percent pre-privatisation to 77 percent and that the company plans to increase its production to 325,000 metric tons per annum in 2014.
He informed the Committee members that as part of plans to diversify, IEPL had embarked on the construction of a mega-sized fertilizer project comprising 1.4 M MTPA nitrogenous fertilizer, a gas pipeline and jetty projects, targeted to be completed in 2015.
“The fertilizer plant will be located within the confines of the existing site measuring 361 hectares and will occupy approximately 38 hectares. The main project components involve 2,300 MTPD ammonia plant, 4,000 MTPD urea plant, 4,000 MTPD urea granulation plant with associated offsite and utilities”, he added.
To sensitize the public on its fertilizer brand, the MD said IEPL had commenced the importation of fertilizer branded in the name of Indorama which was making steady entry into the Nigerian market.
While appealing to the Federal Government for tax exemption, he suggested that the tax regime in Nigeria should be based on the quantum of investment made by a company operating in the country.
At Notore Chemical Industries Limited, Onne, the Head of Projects, Mr. Bode Agagu, said the company plans to increase its production from 500,000 metric tons to 750,000 per annum and to build a new plant in partnership with a Danish firm.
He said since it took over management of the company, it had successfully carried out a Turn around Maintenance (TAM) which increased the company’s production by 30 percent.
Agagu said the company was able to access 2,000,000 farmers directly last year in 2,500 communities in 30 states of the federation.
He said Notore had through its activities last year, earned the Nigerian economy N30bn in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and that in 2014, it had lined up several initiatives among them, is a functional database for Nigerian farmers.
Agagu appealed to the Federal Government to put in place thorough safe guards to check gas pipeline vandalism as gas was critical to its operations. He further asked the Federal government to construct a rail line to link the company to the ports in order to ease the haulage of its product.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, said the Committee embarked on the oversight visit to get first hand information on the successes and challenges of the privatized companies and to assess their compliance with the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) and the Post Acquisition Plan (PAP) they signed with government.