The 5,000bpd modular refinery located in Imo state is scheduled for official commissioning on October 26, 2020, with products truck-out beginning immediately, having concluded off-take arrangements with select firms.

The refinery will be producing 271 million liters of petroleum products to meet some of the requirement of South Eastern market. Abdulrasaq Isah, chairman of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, who led the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) officials on a pre-commissioning tour, said that the company embarked on the modular refinery project as a strategy to address incessant pipeline vandalism and theft of its crude oil products.

“As we began to work on the modular refinery project, we started to see the economic value and impact on Nigeria. The project will also ensure import substitution, energy security for the nation, lower of the company’s operating cost and create lots of jobs”, Isah stated.

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Part of the company’s growth plans, he stated further, is to significantly expand the refinery’s production capacity to 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

“We have started with the first module which is 5,000 barrels. The next module will be 25,000 barrels. Then the finale module will be 20,000.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari has lauded Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited for completing its 5,000 barrels per day (bpd) modular refinery project located in Ibigwe, Imo State.

The modular refinery system is part Nigeria’s push towards energy sufficiency, and reinforces the Federal Government’s agenda of increasing local refining capacity, enhancing value addition to the hydrocarbon resources and employment generation.

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During a pre-commissioning visit, the NNPC group managing director, Mr Mele Kyari, who was represented by chief operating officer, Gas & Power, Yusuf Usman, during a pre-commissioning visit to the plant, described the said that the completion of the modular refinery as a “landmark achievement” that shows that Nigerian can actually refine its crude oil in-country.

He said the NNPC as the industry regulator and key stakeholder in the industry will afford Waltersmith necessary assistance and collaboration they need to operate and achieve their growth plans for the refinery.

“We will work closely with Waltersmith to ensure that it gets enough crude feedstock it needs to operate seamlessly.

We are also looking forward to the Phase 2 of the project when the refinery will start producing premium motor spirit (PMS) which we largely need in this country”, Oriental News quoted Kyari.

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On the impact of the project on its immediate host community, Chikezie Nwosu, managing director/chief executive of Waltersmith said that during the construction stage, the project created multiples of jobs and this will be expanded when it goes into full operation after the commissioning.

“When the tankers start lifting products, you will see immense impact on job creation, growth of the SMEs in the communities around with the attendant growth of the local GDP”, Nwosu told the medium.

“Construction work on the refinery started in October 2018 and was heading for completion ahead of schedule but the Covid-19 pandemic led to a little delay until now.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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