The first modular refinery in Nigeria will become operational by April 2020. It is expected to produce 5,000 per day of refined petroleum products.
The project is being partnered by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) with 30 per cent equity and financed by the African Finance Corporation with an 18 month completion period.
According to Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, the project is a sequel to the signing of the Shareholders Agreement and the Share Subscription Agreement with Waltersmith in June 2018.
He said that more of this partnership is needed as part of the board's initiatives to increase the Nigerian Content in the oil and gas sector to 70 per cent within the next 10years, adding that beyond NCDMB's interventions in the local supply chain for in-country capacity utilization, the board has broadened its focus to include in-country resource utilization.
The Minister of State, (Petroleum), Ibe Kachukwu, reiterated the commitment of the administration to ensuring that the importation of petroleum products was eliminated by repairing the nation's four refineries before the end of 2019.
He said it would be sad if, by the end of 2019, Nigeria was still importing fuel stressing that the policy of the administration was to go back to refining about 20 per cent of crude which will move to 50 per cent in the next five years.
Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, established as an indigenous in 1996, was awarded the Ibigwe field located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 16 (now Oil Operating License 2004) in 2003 after participating in the marginal fields licensing rounds specifically designed for indigenous companies.
According to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, Abdulrazaq Isa, the company has successfully operated the field through a farm-out agreement executed in 2004 with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and its joint venture partners, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and had successfully operated the field ramping up production from an initial capacity of 500 bopd to 7,000 bopd.