The newly completed Modular refinery in Imo state which was built by Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited in collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has been launched.
The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture Chief Lai Mohammed commended the effective partnership that led to the record completion of the Waltersmith 5000 barrels per day modular refinery within two years.
The Honourable Minister of Information gave the commendation on Tuesday after touring the project located at Ibigwe, Ohaji/Egbema LGA, Imo State, in company with the Governor of Imo State, the Minister of State for Education, Hon Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, and the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB expressed pride that the Board moved quickly to invest 30 percent equity in the Waltersmith modular refinery project with the approval of its Governing Council.
He hinted that the project had several benefits, including the generation of direct, indirect, and induced employment opportunities for management staff, plant operators, technicians, drivers, cleaners, suppliers, security personnel, and others.
He said that one of NCDMB’s mandates is to develop in-country capacities and capabilities to utilize and add value to the nation’s hydrocarbon resources, while its vision is to serve as a catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors.
He noted that an average of ten direct jobs was created for every 1,000 barrels/day capacity of modular refinery, hence over 2,500 direct jobs and over 25,000 indirect jobs can be created if 10 percent of Nigeria’s production is refined using modular refineries.
In a bid to increase the production of crude oil in the country, the Federal government has approved the building of modular refineries across the country. This modular refinery in Imo State was started in October 2018 and will commence operations on October 14, 2020, loading out 23 trucks of refined products per day, having concluded off-take arrangements with select firms.
The Chairman of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Mr. Abdulrasaq Isah in his opening remarks indicated that his company decided to embark on the modular project as a strategy to address incessant pipeline vandalism and theft of its crude oil products.
Mr. Isah while outlining the company growth plans, said “part of which is to significantly expand the refinery’s production capacity to 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day. He said: “We have started with the first module which is 5000 barrels.
Isah also endorsed the Federal Government’s deregulation of the downstream subsector, remarking that “the removal of subsidy has created a market for what we are doing. It also facilitates our ability to raise financing for the next module we will be doing.”
The newly completed modular refinery in Imo State is one amongst many modular refineries that are spring up across the country.