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Modular refineries to eliminate fuel importation, says Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said establishment of modular refineries would make petroleum products readily available and eliminate their importation in the country.

He spoke during the virtual inauguration of the 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State and the groundbreaking for second phase works to expand capacity of the facility to 50,000 daily output.

Buhari pointed out that modular refineries was one of the four key components of his administration’s Refinery Roadmap rolled out in 2018, adding that its implementation would make Nigeria net exporter of petroleum products.

He lauded the coming on stream of the oil infrastructure in Ohaji Egbema council area of the South East state two years into launch of the blueprint.

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The Nigerian leader continued: “Furthermore, there is increased momentum in the other three focus areas under the roadmap, covering rehabilitation of existing refineries, co-location of new ones and construction of greenfield refineries.”

“The realisation of the refinery roadmap will ultimately lead us to becoming net exporter of petroleum products not only to our neighbouring countries, but also to the world market.”

“This modular refinery is the largest commissioned in the country today.

“The role played by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in going into collaboration with Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company is novel in concept and superb in delivery,” he added.

The President described plan to enlarge the plant as an important part of economic reforms the coauntry was undertaking.

He, therefore, directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other relevant agencies to accord the organisation necessary support to access crude oil and condensate feedstock for speedy delivery of the project.

Buhari expressed joy that hundreds of direct and indirect jobs were created during the first phase of the project in addition to the numerous business opportunities.

He expressed the hope that the second phase would generate more employment, while also thanking the host community for their cooperation.

Governor Hope Uzodimma and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Tmipre Sylva, performed the ceremonies on behalf of the President at the occasion that was also attended by NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, NCDMB’s Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote and Chairman of WalterSmith, Abdulrazaq Isa.

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