Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited has expressed its readiness to contribute about 271 million litres of refined products annually towards the development of Nigeria’s economy.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Mr Abdulrazaq Isa, said the modular refinery being built by the firm would create direct and indirect employment as well as reduce the demand for foreign exchange from the nation’s treasury to import fuel.
It is being built at Ibigwe field in the Ohaji/Egbema Council Area of Imo state.
He said that the 5,000 bpd refinery, being the first phase of a much larger development, was conceptualised in 2011 to mitigate the frequent outage of the third-party export Trans Niger Pipeline and to optimise the full value of the firm’s produced crude through in-country refining and provide petroleum products for the domestic market.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, commended the firm for the refinery project, adding that efforts would be intensified to reposition the nation’s refineries.
“We have processed excess of one million barrels in this country and a refining technical team and a clutch-free mechanism would soon be put in place for increased oil production.”
The minister noted that the success of the oil industry was dependent on rapid development of infrastructure.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr Simbi Wabote, who congratulated Waltersmith on the groundbreaking event, called for more partnerships as part of its initiatives to increase Nigerian content in the oil and gas sector to 70 per cent within the next 10 years.
He said, “Beyond our interventions in the local supply chain for in-country capacity utilisation, we have broadened our focus to include in-country resource utilisation. We believe that oil production should be refined using modular refineries.
“Our doors are still open and we welcome more proposals for consideration and support in line with the published guidelines. The capacities of modular refineries we are willing to consider are in the range of a minimum of 1,000bpd and maximum of 5,000bpd.”