Bitumen as elixir to Niger Delta infrastructural development

2019-04-26
THE NATION Newspaper


With the Federal Government’s determination to aggressively improve infrastructure across the country, Matrix Energy, through its subsidiary, Aida Energy, has commenced bitumen distribution with delivery of its first bitumen vessel, MT Jin Zhou Wan on April 17.

In a chat with reporters in Warri, Delta State, on the rationale behind investing into bitumen, the Chief Operation Officer (COO) of Matrix Energy Group, Mr. Loqman Salam-Alada, said the group identified inadequate infrastructure in the reception facilities for bitumen, distributing trucks as well as a supply gap.

“We have good relationship with most of the major construction companies. We sell diesel to them and identified the stress and pain they go through in getting bitumen supply. We also noticed the way some marketers are taking advantage of the market. Our coming into the market will bring stability and healthy competition.

“The best we can do is to support government’s aspiration of ensuring that all the materials required to make good roads and rail tracks are available. That is what we are doing now, especially as government is seen to be sincere in its efforts towards infrastructural development,” he said.

He further said that for the company to meet the demand of supplying bitumen across the country’s geo-political zones, it had acquired a total of 32 distribution trucks, expecting to take delivery of 20 more before the end of June.

On the capacity of the storage depot, Salam-Alada said the Aida Energy facility has the capacity to store up to 5,700 metric tons of bitumen, seven million litres of Aviation Fuel and 13 million litres of AGO, adding that the company intends to maintain a seamless supply culture as it would receive fresh cargo of the product every two weeks to ensure availability.

“The vessel arrived with 5,400 metric tons of bitumen. We completed our bitumen facility last month and it is the first cargo that has just arrived. We will commence discharge any moment from now. We have a facility whose capacity is about 5,700 metric tons. The same facility also has tanks for storage of aviation fuel. The cargo will soon arrive in the country.

“Our investments and improvement strategies have resulted in the expansion of our storage capacity to about 150 million litres of Hydrocarbons, enabling us to receive, store and distribute a wide range of petroleum products including LPG (Cooking Gas), Gasoline/PMS, Gasoil/Diesel, Aviation Fuel, Household Kerosene, Bitumen and Fuel oil. At present, Matrix Group is the only company in Nigeria that can handle all of these products.

“Matrix Group is truly an integrated company with the capacity to transport its products from terminal and storage facilities globally to our storage facilities in Nigeria, load with our own trucks and deliver to our retail outlets and ultimately to the end users.

“The dominant and unique position was not built overnight. We have kept investing. The fortunate part of this is that all these infrastructure and investments have created a lot of jobs and benefits for our host communities”, he said.

 

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