Modular Refineries To Improve In-Country Refining Capacity- Mohammed

Yemisi Izuora

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that the emergence of Modular Refinery projects in the country would boost in-country refining capacity and make products affordable.

He described the coming into being such projects in the country

as the result of the enabling environment created by the

Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister stated this in Ibigwe in Ohaji Egbema Local Government

Area of Imo State on Tuesday during a media tour of the Waltersmith

Modular Refinery and Petro-Chemical Company Limited, which is due for

commissioning next month.

“We can show Nigerians that while every government has been talking

about modular refineries, no government has succeeded in turning the

dream into reality until now,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said with the coming on board of medium scale

refineries like Waltersmith, Nigerians will soon experience cheaper

petroleum products.

“With this kind of refinery, all issues of subsidy become completely

irrelevant because we would be able to get fuel at a cheaper price,

especially because everything that is being produced will be for local

consumption,” he said.

The Minister lauded the partnership between the Waltersmith Refinery

and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board that holds a

30 per cent stake in the refinery, which will start with 5,000bpd, add

25,000bpd in the second stage and then another 20,000bpd to bring the

capacity to 50,000bpd in the third and final phase.

He said the Administration will continue to showcase its monumental

achievements because it has performed well in the execution of

projects across the country.

“I am glad we are here today blowing our trumpet because we have

created an enabling environment for this project,” he said, after he

and his entourage, as well as Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and

some members of the National Assembly, were taken on a tour of the

refinery, one of many of its type that are in different stages of

completion in the country.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development

and Monitoring Board, Mr. Simbi Wabote, said the Board believes that

at least 10 per cent of Nigeria’s oil production should be refined through the

modular refineries, because of its capacity to generate employment.

“With an average of ten direct jobs created for every 1,000 barrels

per day capacity of a modular refinery, we believe that about 2,500

direct jobs and over 25,000 indirect jobs can be created if 10 per cent of

Nigeria’s production is refined using modular refineries,” he said.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Waltersmith Modular Refinery and

Petro-Chemical Company Limited, Mr. Abdulrazaq Isa, said from 14

October, 2020, 23 trucks will commence the loading of products such as

Diesel, Kerosene, Heavy Fuel Oil and Naphtha from the refinery.

“What we are doing is in support of government initiative and this is

coming at the right time as the government is deregulating the

market,” he said. ”We really support the government policy on

deregulation and removal of subsidies because it creates a market for

what we are doing.”

The Minister and Governor Uzodinma, as well as the Chairman, Senate

Committee on Information and National Communication, Senator Danladi

Sankara; Chairman, House Committee on Information, National

Orientation, Ethics and Value, Mr. Olusegun Odebunmi, and over 30

journalists were conducted round the production facilities of the

refinery by the Chairman, Mr. Isa.

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