Minister of State for Petroleum Resource, Sylva Receives Phase 1 Presentation on Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Ohaji/Egbema in Imo State
The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Nigeria H.E Chief Timipre Sylva recently paid an inspection visit to Waltersmith Modular Refinery located in Ohaji/Egbema LGA, Imo State. This was to inspect the ongoing works in the refinery construction which is at an advanced completion status of over 90 per cent.
Chief Sylva who was accompanied by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi K. Wabote, expressed his excitement at the pace of the project while noting that “the incorporation of the Modular Refinery component in the existing business concerns of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, is exactly what was envisaged by the Federal Government with marginal fields allocation.” He stated that “the overall expectation was to see indigenous Nigerian Companies do well and the Waltersmith Modular Refinery is a major bright spot which has recently been incorporated into the Nation’s projection for petroleum product sufficiency and availability.”
Chief Sylva applauded the Board and Management of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited while imploring that a huge focus should be placed on corporate social responsibility to ensure a sustained and successful relationship with the host community. He specifically applauded Engr. Wabote for executing the project partnership for the 30,000 barrels per day modular refinery which is wholly owned by Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited with a key equity investment from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). He pledged the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria in ensuring that the expected completion date and refinery operations commencement date of May 2020, is achieved.
NCDMB’s Engr. Wabote said that the partnership forged with Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, has clearly shown the power of public-private investments while noting that all the necessary steps have been put in place to ensure the full realization of the objectives of the project. He further noted that the initial partnership with Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited was stemmed from the quest to achieve President Muhammadu Buhari’s aspiration to improve in-country refined products capacity. He expressed his optimism that the May 2020 completion date of the phase 1 (5,000 barrels per day) will coincide with the ground breaking for the phase 2 of the project targeted at delivering 25,000 barrels per day crude and condensate refinery; designed to produce gasoline, diesel, LPG, kerosene and aviation fuel.
The Chairman of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Mr. AbdulRazaq Isa in his statement, noted that the fundamental reasons for embarking on the Waltersmith Modular Refinery include but not limited to crude loss resulting from crude handling and the cost of crude transportation from the marginal fields owned by Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited. He noted that the project owners, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited (70 per cent) and NCDMB (30 per cent) have worked assiduously to ensure the phase 1 delivery timeline which has been pegged at 18 months. He stated that the phase 1 is expected to contribute about 271 million litres of refined products including Diesel, Naphtha, HFO and Kerosene annually to the domestic market and create both direct and indirect jobs particularly within the host communities.
In his technical presentation, the Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Mr. Chikezie Nwosu explored the current status of the Modular Refinery project while noting that the 30,000+ barrels per day is a partnership between Waltersmith (70%) and NCDMB (30%) with NCDMB providing major guidance and contributions on Nigerian Content, Technical and Commercial issues and Corporate Governance. He recalled that the FID for the Refinery Project was taken in September 2018 with an 18-month Delivery time from November 2018 to May 2020, for Phase 1.