Waltersmith Petroman Oil Company Limited, a leading Nigerian independent integrated energy company and operator of the Ibigwe Field within OML 16, has signed a technical support agreement (TSA) with UNIDO and UNECA with respect to the development of an Industrial Park by Waltersmith.
The industrial park is being developed with the support of the United Nation Industrial Development Organization and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as part of Nigeria’s country program with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
The Park at Ibigwe, the company’s commercial hub and location of its recently commissioned 5,000bpd modular refinery, and also the first of its kind in Nigeria, will attract petrochemical, pharmaceutical, research and other light manufacturing companies that feed off the hydrocarbon value chain.
The TSA represents the terms and conditions that will guide the development and actualization of the Waltersmith’s Industrial park.
A statement by Waltersmith said in order to achieve this, the company intends to invest heavily in electricity and world class industrial park infrastructure and power in order for manufacturing companies to co-locate in Ibigwe and have direct access to their raw materials from its refinery and petrochemical activities.
“This signing ceremony essentially flags off the industrial park development and we are excited about the technical support UNIDO and UNECA are willing to provide to Waltersmith as this will help us attract several companies to the park area.
“Our goal is to create an industrial cluster in Ibigwe and help reduce manufacturing costs, position the South-Eastern region as a major manufacturing hub and take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement which the Nigerian government has currently signed on,” said Abdulrazaq Isa, chairman Waltersmith Group.
Only recently the first phase of the 5,000 barrels per day refinery that the oil company is developing was commissioned and is expected to deliver about 271 million litres of refined petroleum products into the domestic and regional market consisting of Heavy Fuel Oil, Dual Purpose Kerosene and Automotive Gas Oil.
In a similar vein, Mr. Jean Bakole, UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS & Director Nigeria Regional Office Hub, while reiterating UNIDO’s commitment to assist in operationalizing Waltersmith’s Industrial Park said: “UNIDO will gladly work with all key partners to support Waltersmith to actualize the Industrial Park which we know will become a success story for development of other industrial parks in the very near future and we pledge the organization’s unwavering support to Nigeria’s economic diversification agenda through promotion and acceleration of inclusive and sustainable industrialization of the country.”
By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja