Palau’s Ngchesar State Government recently endorsed a proposal to build a deep-water petroleum refinery plant and port in Ngchesar State.
The presentation by Belau LLC to the House of Delegates in September 2021 said it will utilise the “Zero-Toxic Emissions Modular Oil Refinery (ZTE-MOR), a clean and eco-friendly technology perfect for fragile island environments.”
The project is brought forward by a son of Ngchesar State, Junior Patrick Adelbai, a real estate investor operating in Arizona, who is also the owner of Belau LLC in a joint venture with Pacific Innovative Energy, LLC.
According to Adelbai, the project will create a product that will add significantly to Palau’s GDP. “Right now, Palau has no product to sell. Other than tourism, there’s nothing to add to its GDP.” The business plan, proposed by Adelbai, is to import crude oil into Palau, process the crude into various petroleum products using this latest technology in a fuel refinery that is “environmentally friendly, [has a] small carbon footprint” and sell the different fuel products to the U.S navy and neighbouring countries for profit.
The finished fuel products Palau currently uses includes costs of production, transport, and taxes imposed by different countries as that finished product is transported to Palau. By buying the crude oil at a low price, and processing it using low-cost, efficient technology, Palau removes all the unnecessary added cost and benefits from lower gas prices as well as make money from the fuel sales, said Adelbai. Based on the new tax regime recently adopted, Palau can make 10% on the sales of fuel from the plant.
The business plan seeks to raise funds to build the facility through private funding but expects to pay that off as soon as they secure U.S military fuel contracts.
Adelbai said that he had secured a marine lease from Ngchesar State to build the deep-water port, refinery, and holding tanks for the project.
The cost of the port, related facilities, and the refinery is estimated to be 2 to 3 billion dollars and the expected rate of return is 10X that over 25 years, according to the presentation.
Junior Adelbai said he is very much aware of Palau’s environmental sensitivity and he believes that the technology, Zero-Toxic Emissions Modular Oil Refinery, or ZTE-MOR, is perfect for Palau’s fragile environment.
“The ZTE-MOR secret is its ability to refine crude oil feedstock at lower temperatures and safer, lower operating pressures compared to conventional refineries. The closed-loop process uses heat-recycling and gas-recycling to eliminate toxic emissions.”
“It was not easy to put this together and it had taken me four years to get to this point. Moving forward, I expect to have the first barrel production in three years,” Adelbai said of his plan.