President Muhammadu Buhari says the construction of modular refineries in Nigeria will make petroleum products available in the country and eliminate importation.
Buhari said this during a virtual inauguration of the 5,000 barrels per day (bpd) Waltersmith modular refinery in Ibigwe, Imo state and ground-breaking ceremony for the second phase to expand the refinery’s capacity to 50,000bpd.
He said deployment of modular refineries was one of the four key elements of his administration’s refinery roadmap rolled out in 2018, adding that its implementation will make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products.
”The realisation of the refinery roadmap will ultimately lead us to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products not only to our neighbouring countries but to the worldwide market,” Buhari said.
”This is the largest commissioned modular refinery 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.”
WalterSmith Petroman Oil Limited owns 70 percent of the Refinery, while NCDMB holds 30 percent equity on behalf of the Federal Government.
He directed ministry of petroleum resources, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and other relevant government agencies to provide Waltersmith with all necessary support to access crude oil and condensate feedstock for timely delivery of the additional capacity.
He hoped that the construction of the second phase will create bigger additional employment opportunities than the first phase.
He pledged that the refinery will bring prosperity and economic development to the host community.
Buhari commended NCDMB for making the public-private partnership (PPP) a success and Waltersmith for their professionalism and focus in getting the project completed.
Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo, and Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, cut the tape on behalf of Buhari at the event.
Others who attended the event on ground, were Mele Kyari, group managing director of NNPC; Simbi Wabote, executive secretary of NCDMB; and Abdulrazaq Isa, chairman of Waltersmith.