Good news can come from Owerri as 50,000 bpd modular refinery set for Oct with 23 truckloads per day


* First phase to begin with 5,000 bpd

* FG commends Waltersmith Petroman, NCDMB for record speed

* NCDMB wants 10 per cent of Nigeria’s crude oil to be refined by modular refineries


It is not about overturning elections or bad roads but it is the fact that the first modular refinery in that part of the country is ready in less than one month.

This is as a 50,000 barrels per day modular refinery located in a part of Imo State is set to begin pumping out refined petroleum fro October 2020 to become one of the fastest modular refinery projects in Nigeria now at 98 per cent completion. The first phase however is to begin with 5,000 bpd.

When operations begin, the plant located in Ohaji/Egbema area of Imo State would discharge 23 truckloads of petrol every day, hoping to increase to 30,000 bpd the following, year and later to 50,000 bpd. The CEO is Chikezie Nwosu who said all hands were on deck to deliver the takeoff date.

Now, the Federal Government has led a team to inspect the site and ended up applauding Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for speedy completion feat and for their effective partnership that made it possible under mere two years.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who conveyed the commendation in the week after touring the project located at Ibigwe in company of the governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, and the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Kesiye Wabote, praised the synergy.

It would be recalled that the modular refinery started in October 2018 and would commence operations on October 14, 2020, having concluded off-take arrangements with select firms.

The Minister stated that the completion of Waltersmith modular refinery and conceptualization of similar projects in Bayelsa were key achievements of President Muhammed Buhari’s administration, adding that modular refineries only became a reality under the present administration despite years of rhetoric by previous governments.

Mohammed described modular refineries as key to meeting the Federal Government’s agenda of increasing local refining capacity, enhancing value addition to the hydrocarbon resources and employment generation. He gave assurance that government through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and relevant agencies would provide Waltersmith with all necessary support it needs to operate and grow sustainably.

In his remarks, Wabote expressed satisfaction with 30 per cent equity invested by the NCDMB in the refinery projectl. He hinted that the project had several benefits, including generation of direct, indirect, and induced employment opportunities for management staff, plant operators, technicians, drivers, cleaners, suppliers, security personnel and others.

Wabote canvassed that at least 10 per cent of Nigeria’s oil production should be refined through the modular refineries. He noted that an average of 10 direct jobs were 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 another development, the Chairman of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Abdulrasaq Isah, indicated that the company decided to embark on the modular project as a strategy to address incessant pipeline vandalism and theft of its crude oil products. The project will also ensure import substitution, energy security for the nation, lower of the company’s operating cost and create lots of jobs, he revealed.

Isa outlined the company growth plans, 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. The next module will be 25,000 barrels. Then the finale module will be 20,000.

”With that, we will be loading 120 trucks every day at peak production, comprising different products-diesel, kerosene, PMS, HFO, and Jet Fuel.

”While confirming that load out of products will commence on October 14, starting with diesel, to be followed closely with the commencement of phase two of the project.

”Isah also endorsed 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 done.”