BUA Group and Axens of France have signed a progress acknowledgement statement for BUA’s proposed 200,000-barrels-per-day refinery in Akwa Ibom State.
BUA said in a statement on Wednesday that the French President, Emmanuel Macron, commended its Chairman, Abdul Rabiu, for his commitment to developing lasting relationships between French and Nigerian businesses.
It said the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, paid a visit to the BUA Group Headquarters in Lagos where he handed over a personal invitation from Macron to Rabiu to attend the Choose France Summit in June in Paris representing business leaders from Nigeria and Africa.
The French minister also witnessed the signing of a progress acknowledgement statement between BUA Group and Axens of France for the refinery project, according to the statement.
The statement said during the visit, it was also announced that the BUA chairman had been appointed Chairman of the France Nigeria Investment Club.
Rabiu thanked the minister and Macron for their unwavering support in bringing BUA and French businesses together.
He said BUA had so far initiated partnerships and had developed personal relationships with a few French businesses, including Axens.
He expressed confidence in the quality of expertise and technical know-how of the French companies BUA had partnered with.
Rabiu, who noted that Nigeria imports most of its crude oil consumed daily, said BUA Refinery, when fully operational, would reduce the huge cost of transporting crude oil offshore, refining it, and bringing it back into the country.
Rabiu added that the decision to site the refinery in Akwa Ibom was strategic due to the huge availability of raw materials and its proximity to export petroleum products to regional countries.
The President of Axens, Jean Sentenac, was quoted as saying he was pleased that the project was advancing on schedule.
He praised the very good cooperation between all the involved parties and reiterated the commitment of Axens to delivering the BUA Refinery Project on time and with the highest standards.
Macron, represented by Riester, invited Rabiu to the ‘Choose France Summit’ and said the French Government was ever ready to support people-oriented and developmental projects in Nigeria.