The chairman of Waltersmith Group, Abdulrazaq Isa, has said, they are working round the clock to ensure that Phase Two of its refinery project, which will immediately take its capacity from 5,000 barrels of crude oil a day (bpd) to 10,000bpd, comes on stream.
Isa stated this during the recent official visit and tour of the refinery project site in Ibigwe in Imo State by the minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri.
“We have customers from as far as Sokoto and from all over the country. It is obvious to us that the current capacity is so limited. That is why we are working very hard to conclude the next phase and ramp up the capacity. We expect the Phase Two to come onstream by June 2025”, Isa told reporters after conducting the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources round the facility.
Our target is to achieve 40,000bpd capacity in the shortest possible time and that is where we are headed,” Isa added.
In an earlier presentation to the minister, CEO, Waltersmith Petroman Oil, Oladapo Filani, said: “between the Final Investment Decision (FID) and coming on stream of the Phase One project was between 18 – 24 months and we see ourselves reproducing that for Phase Two, which is a replica and an improvement on the learnings of what we achieved with Phase One.”
The minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri expressed a resounding vote of confidence in the operations of the Waltersmith Refinery and pledged his full support and that of the government for the expansion plans of their refinery project.
“The success story of the Waltersmith refinery should be an encouragement and proof that one of the quickest ways to ensure energy security for our country is through the fast-tracking of modular refinery projects. I also believe that other organisations with modular refinery licences and other marginal field operators should take a cue from Waltersmith”, Lokpobiri said.
The executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote expressed delight at the participation of the local content body in the project through their 30 per cent equity interest.
“As you can see, we have produced almost 600 million litres of various products from this refinery; that translates to about 20 trucks load from this refinery on a daily basis and NCDMB is proud to be associated with the success story of the Waltersmith Refinery”, Wabote said.
There is also a possibility of the Bank of Industry (BOI) coming on board to be part of the Waltersmith Refinery and Petrochemicals Company Ltd Phase Two Refinery project. The managing director/chief executive officer of Bank of Industry (BOI), Olasupo Olusi, who was also present during the ministerial tour of the facility, said that the bank is open and committed to supporting the expansion plans of the Waltersmith Refinery.
It is worth noting that Phase One of the Waltersmith Refinery, which is a facility capable of processing 5,000 barrels of crude oil per day, was officially opened on November 24th, 2020. This phase was created to tackle the increasing risks of crude oil theft in the company’s upstream operations by providing an operational solution. Its primary goal is to increase the overall value of extracted crude oil by engaging in domestic refining, thereby ensuring a steady supply of petroleum products to the local market.