Nigeria - Phase-II.
Originally scheduled for completion in 1987, the 330,000 t/y ethylene complex under Phase-II came on stream in June 1995, together with a unit with the capacity to produce 90,000 t/y of propylene and 22,000 t/y of butene-1. The 250,000 t/y swing plant to produce HDPE and/or LLDPE came on stream in late 1995, along with an 80,000 t/y PP plant.
The complex is at Eleme near Port Harcourt, the site of Nigeria's oldest oil refinery in Rivers State. It is operated by Eleme Petrochemicals Co. Delays in completing the complex were largely due to heavy debts owed by Abuja to French and Japanese contractors.
NNPC said in 1995 the complex will satisfy domestic demand as well as provide the state with $100m per annum in export revenues. In addition, Phase-II saved the country some $122m through import substitution.
Nigeria's Phase-II Petrochemical Plants Product Capacity Ethylene 330,000t/y Propylene 90,000t/y Butene- 122,000t/y Polypropylene 80,000t/y Polyethylenes (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) 250,000 t/y
Delays in production by these plants in the 1990s were caused by damage to the NGL extraction facility at Port Harcourt from an explosion. Agip, operating the extraction plant, resumed normal operations in late 1995. The complex required about 17,000 b/d of NGL. But unrest in the area in recent years also affected the operations of these plants. Now the supply of NGL has improved.
Du Pont Canada handled the engineering work and supervised construction of the LLDPE/HDPE units, under a contract signed in October 1988. Institut Francais du Petrole (IFP) provided the process for the butene-1 plant. (Butene-1 is the base for LLDPE). Preliminary designs were done by Spie Batignolles of France, Technimont of Italy, and Chiyoda and Kobe Steel of Japan. MW Kellogg of the US was also involved as a contractor.
Initially, Phase-II was criticised as not being viable because projections of domestic consumption levels indicated that only 60% of the planned output would be absorbed while export prospects would be limited. But in August 1987, a World Bank-financed study done by the Standford Research Institute recommended development of Phase-II as planned, with emphasis on ethylene, PE and PP.