NCDMB ES Remarks at the Virtual Commissioning of the 5,000bpd Waltersmith Modular Refinery, Ibigwe, Imo State.

Tuesday 24th November 2020

Protocol.

Thanks to you all for joining us physically and virtually for the commissioning of this game changing modular refinery that showcases the beauty of genuine public-private partnerships in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

One of the mandates of NCDMB is to develop in-country capacities and capabilities to utilize and add value to our hydrocarbon resources.

Section 70(h) of the NOGICD Act specifically mandates the Board to assist local contractors and Nigerian companies to develop their capabilities and capacities to further the attainment of Nigerian Content in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

It is upon this basis that we choose to partner with Waltersmith when they came knocking at our doors in early 2018 for partnership in the establishment of this 5,000bpd modular refinery here in Ibigwe, Imo State.

We are proud that the partnership has enabled us to gather here today to celebrate the completion and the commissioning of the modular refinery.

This refinery creates job opportunities and business prospects, enhances availability of petroleum products, and provides ready market for some of our crude cargo within our shores. At current capacity, this refinery will utilize about 1.8million barrels of crude oil. At the completion of the expansion works, this will increase to more than 16million barrels of crude and condensates every year.

NCDMB is excited that the refined products from the Refinery are already sold out with some of the interested offtakers placed on the waiting list. That is why I am not surprised that Waltersmith is already looking at the commencement of the subsequent phases of the project to bring total refining capacity to 50,000bpd.

We are also applying the ‘catalyse and expand’ model to our other modular refinery partnerships that are currently under construction. We are in partnership for the construction of a 2,500bpd modular refinery in Edo State which will later be expanded to 10,000bpd.

Our investment in the 12,000bpd hydroskimming refinery in Bayelsa State will produce full slate of petroleum products to serve immediate and nearby markets.

The Federal Government’s Refinery Roadmap contains four (4) key aspects such as rehabilitation, co-location, greenfield, and modular refineries. We have chosen to focus on partnerships and investments for the construction of modular refineries. This is where we see the greatest opportunities to nurture and grow Nigerian capacities and capabilities in the downstream sector in line with the provisions of the NOGICD Act.

At NCDMB, we reckon that at least 10% of Nigeria’s oil production should be refined through the modular refineries. These modular refineries have the potential to grow into massive refinery clusters as we are witnessing today.

With an average of ten (10) direct jobs created for every 1,000barrels/day capacity of Modular Refinery, we believe that about 3,000 direct jobs and over 100,000 indirect and induced jobs can be created if 10% of Nigeria’s oil production is refined using modular refineries.

As at the last count, the Federal Government investments in Modular Refineries through NCDMB will enable about 80,000bpd of combined local refining capacity.

We are happy to see the momentum towards the target local refining capacity as project promoters, operators of marginal fields, and other stakeholders do the needful to put together credible and sustainable business models to tap into the opportunities. Kudos to our investment partner, Waltersmith Petroleum Refining and Petrochemicals Ltd for making this public-private partnership a resounding success worthy of emulation by others.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I recall the directive of Mr. President at the recent Presidential Retreat that MDA’s should project and be proud of their achievements. The commissioning of the Waltersmith Refinery is one of our achievements in NCDMB under the support and guidance of the Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and Chairman of NCDMB Governing Council, Chief Timipre Sylva; and we are very proud of it.

The nation’s journey to self-sufficiency in local refining capacity is on track and we are very happy to serve as a tool of government to bring it into reality.

One again, I thank you all for being part of this unique of occasion.

Engr Simbi Wabote FNSE, FIPS

ES, NCDMB