Imo: 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery to boost Nigeria’s oil capacity – FG - DAILY SUN
Says no government has ever succeeded on modular refinery
BY Aidoghie Paulinus, Owerri
The Federal Government has said the October commencement of daily refined crude production amounting to 5,000 barrels per day in Imo State will increase the Nigeria’s oil capacity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the remark after he inspected the Waltersmith Modular Refinery at Ibigwe, in Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
Mohammed was accompanied on the tour of the refinery by the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma; the Minister of State, Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; the Chairman, House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, Hon Segun Olubunmi, amongst other dignitaries.
The Minister said that the modular refinery, operated by Nigerians, was a good example of the reintegration of Nigeria’s resources, a development which he said will put an end to the export of the country’s resources.
‘What we have here today, Waltersmith Refinery, is a good example of reintegration of our resources. No longer are we going to have resources and we are going to be exporting them, but we are going to make good use of these resources and the process will be adding value to it,’ he stated.
‘We have been told that by October 14th or 15th, this project will be commissioned and it will be producing about 5,000 barrels of crude per day which is about five major products right now, you have naphtha, you have diesel, you have kerosine and HFO.
‘But what that really means in effect is that with the phase one which is 5,000, they hope that by 2022, they will get to phase two which will be an increment of another 25,000 barrels and by 2024, they hope to have reached 50,000 barrels.
‘If you come here again in a month’s time, you are going to have at least, over 200 trucks loading different products a day. You can imagine the multiplier effect of that on the community.
‘I believe that this is the way to go because what we need is about a hundred of Waltersmith in Nigeria and then, we will not have any business importing any crude,’ Mohammed said.
An elated Mohammed further said the government created the enabling environment for the project, including ensuring that all the necessary permits, regulations were obtained.
‘So, what we are doing today, we are celebrating not just Waltersmith [Petroman Oil Limited], but celebrating the partnership between the NCDMB and Watersmith.
‘Because we can show Nigerians that while every government had been talking about modular refinery, no government has succeeded in realising the dream of modular refinery,’ Mohammed added.
The Minister also said with the modular refinery, value is being added to the nation’s crude and at the same time, growing the country’s GDP.
He added that with the establishment of the modular refinery, issues relating to subsidy becomes completely irrelevant since the refinery produces fuel at a cheaper and local price.
‘So, it is easy to see that what we are talking about is a kind of medium scale industry in the downstream industry,’ Mohammed stated.
Also speaking, Governor Uzodinma said with the establishment of the refinery, local content had become a success story in the country.
The Governor added that while foreign companies were running away from the downstream sector, Watersmith was moving from upstream to downstream.
‘At the end of the day, they will put in place, a value chain that will not only help our economy, but empower Nigerians.
‘So, I am very, very excited with this project and I have no doubt in my mind that it will stimulate, not only our local economy here in the State, the national economy and indeed, the global economy,’ Uzodimma said.