‘Why government is committed to completion of modular refineries’
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has disclosed that the modular refinery by Waltersmith located in Imo State, has advanced to a completion stage of over 90 percent, stressing that the development would improve supply of petroleum products in the country.
Speaking during the inspection of the ongoing works in the refinery, Sylva expressed excitement at the pace of the project, adding that the development of indigenous solutions to product shortfall in the country remained critical.
To him, the incorporation of the modular refinery component in the existing business concerns of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, was exactly what the Federal Government envisaged by with marginal fields allocation.
Sylva said: “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.”He urged the company to focus on corporate social responsibility to ensure a sustained and successful relationship with the host community.
Sylva pledged the commitment of the Federal Government in ensuring that the expected completion date and refinery operations commencement date of May 2020, is achieved.
The project, being executed in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) would turn out about 30,000 barrels per day.
Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote stated that necessary steps have been put in place to ensure that the full realisation of the objectives of the project was achieved, adding that the partnership forged with the firm, showed the power of public-private investments.
To him, the initial partnership with the company was stemmed from the quest to achieve President Muhammadu Buhari’s aspiration to improve in-country refined products capacity.The May 2020 completion date of the phase one (5,000 barrels per day) would coincide with the ground breaking for the phase two 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, Wabote said.
The Chairman of the oil firm, AbdulRazaq Isa said the fundamental reasons for embarking on the refinery include crude loss resulting from crude handling and the cost of crude transportation from the marginal fields owned by the company.Isa said the partners have worked assiduously to ensure the phase one delivery timeline, which has been pegged at 18 months.