Akwa Ibom Coconut Oil Refinery, Liberty Oil & Gas Free Zone Receive FG Approval
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state has explained that the state-owned coconut refinery, which will be driven by a combination of several technologies to enhance its operations once installed, will serve as a major export hub of coconut virgin oil in Africa.
Speaking while receiving the official gazette from the federal government last weekend in Uyo, signaling the approval for 50,000 hectares Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone in the state, the governor said the refinery will be multi-faceted and digitized with capacity to process other economic products like palm kernel.
“Within this oil and gas free zones we are installing the largest coconut refinery that will do crude extraction of coconut oil in Africa. That same refinery without changing a pan can process palm kernel oil, so it is going to be a multi-faceted, multi-purpose and digitized refinery”.
The free trade zone, which covers six local government areas including Ikot Abasi, Oruk Anam, Onna, Eastern Obolo, Mkpat Enin and Ibeno, is proposed to be the largest in Nigeria when completed.
The Gazette of the approval was presented to Governor Udom Emmanuel by a delegation from the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), led by its managing director, Mr Umana Okon Umana, at the Executive Chambers, Government House, Uyo.
Governor Emmanuel thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the timely approval for the establishment of the Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone in the state, that this will give a boost to the state’s coconut refinery project and its consequent economic diversification.
By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja