Buhari set to commission 5,000bpd modular refinery



President Muhammadu Buhari will Tuesday commission the 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery and Groundbreaking ceremony for the 45,000 barrels per day refinery. 

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timpre Sylva, and Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, as well as other top government officials, oil industry regulators and stakeholders, will be part of the event. 

The 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery, is located in Ibigwe, Ohaji/Egbema local government area of Imo state.

The modular refinery has a crude oil storage capacity of 60,000 barrels and is projected to deliver over 271 million liters per annum of refined petroleum products which include Kerosene, Diesel, Naphtha and Heavy Fuel Oils to the domestic market.

The bulk of crude oil supply for this phase will come from Waltersmith’s upstream business with backup from the OML 53 (Ohaji South) Seplat/NNPC JV third party crude currently processed at Waltersmith Ibigwe Flowstation and additionally from the 2020 Marginal Fields Bid Round for a nearby asset.

At a recent pre-commissioning visit to the refinery, Yusuf Usman, Chief Operating Officer, Gas & Power speaking on the success of the refinery, stated, “It is a landmark achievement and it shows that we can actually refine our crude oil in-country.”

Chairman Waltersmith Group Abdulrazaq Isa said, “The first module being commissioned today is 5,000bpd refining capacity. We are looking at 50,000bpd refining capacity that will come with the planned additional 2 modules; 25,000bpd and 20,000bpd refining capacity respectively which will then add PMS, Aviation fuel and LPG to the product slates.”

Waltersmith obtained the ‘License to Establish’ the modular refinery from DPR in June 2015 and got the ‘Authority to Construct’ in March 2017. The company then partnered with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to raise the required financing. NCDMB are 30% equity partners while AFC committed senior secured credit facility towards the project.

“From the very day we keyed into this project in line with the President’s aspiration to grow the country’s oil refining capacity, we felt very happy that we are associated with Waltersmith, a serious-minded company,” Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB, said.

The company signed an EPC contract in June 2018 with a consortium of V-fuels and Lambert Electromec. The construction of the modular refinery commenced in October 2018 and was delivered in less than 24 months, ahead of schedule but its official commissioning originally planned for May was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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