Phase one of the modular refinery and the ground breaking ceremony of the phase two is expected to hold in May 2020; The Waltersmith project has already reached 90 percent completion; The project falls in line with H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva’s objectives to foster private sector participation in increasing domestic refinery capacity.
Last week, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva paid an inspection visit to the Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Ohaji/Egbema LGA, Imo State.
Accompanied by Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi K. Wabote, Minister Sylva said the Federal Government would continue on its efforts to ensure that the project meets the set deadline where phase one (5,000 bpd) of the modular refinery and the groundbreaking ceremony of phase two, which is targeted at delivering 25,000 bpd crude and condensate refinery; designed to produce gasoline, diesel, LPG, kerosene and aviation fuel, is expected in May 2020.
The minister said that the overall expectation of the site visit where the project that has already reached 90 percent completion, “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.” Further, the minister directed that the NCMB and Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited (Waltersmith) should centre their attention to corporate social responsibility which will ensure a “sustained and successful relationship with the host community.”
To this, AbdulRazaq Isa, Chairman of Waltersmith said the project’s first phase would create several direct and indirect jobs for the host community.
“This project is crucial for the development of the refining sector on the continent. Alongside the Dangote refinery which is slated for completion in early 2021, Nigeria is quickly setting an example for the role private investment stands to play in the development of the industry’s capabilities,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude producer, yet it lacks the refining capacity to meet its own fuel needs and through projects like these, the country is effectively making the move towards addressing this issue,” he added.
The public-partnership sees Waltersmith holding a 70 percent interest while NCDMB holds the remaining 30 percent.
One of the main drives for the development of this project include the crude loss which comes as a result of crude handling and the cost of crude transportation from the marginal fields owned by Waltersmith, said AbdulRazaq Isa who also explained that the first phase of the project is expected to contribute an estimated 271 million litres of refined products including Diesel, Naphtha, HFO and Kerosene annually to the domestic market.
The project reached FID in September 2018 with an 18-month Delivery time from November 2018 to May 2020, for phase one.
Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited is a wholly owned Nigerian integrated energy company. It is operator of the 7000 bpd Ibigwe field located on the OML 16 in the eastern Niger Delta and is also active in the OML 34 in Niger Delta Western Ltd where it holds a 8.33 percent stake.
Following a competitive bidding process in EGRonda 2019, the company was awarded a 40 percent stake in Block EG-23 earlier this month, allowing it to take operatorship of the asset.
The Block is located in Equatorial Guinea’s Niger Delta basin. This acquisition forms part of the company’s expansion plan which will see it venture further into Africa as it works to participate in accelerated production and extended value creation.