• Thursday, February 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Waltersmith Refinery move to double output as crude shortage persists

Waltersmith

Waltersmith Refinery is seeking to double its refining output in an expansion plan that could see its refinery consume 40,000 barrels per day, the company’s chairman has said while seeking government support to deal with crude shortages.

During a visit to the plant by government officials, including Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), and Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the company called for a collaborative approach between government and the private sector to move the energy sector forward.

“We are moving from 5,000 to 10,000 barrels of crude oil a day (bpd) but focus on achieving 40,000bpd capacity,” said Abdulrazaq Isa, the chairman of Waltersmith Group.

Read more: Crude oil shortage deters Nigeria’s modular refineries’ expansion

He further said, “Already, we are engaging all necessary parties, especially the national oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL), to ensure that we have access to enough feedstock that will enable us to get to the 40,000bpd capacity. That is where we are headed and our co-investor, the NCDMB, is happy with what we are doing.”

During the visit, Lokpobiri expressed his admiration for the progress achieved by Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company, highlighting that the refinery’s role aligns with one of his key objectives of ramping up Nigeria’s refining capacity and promoting economic growth.

“The shortest way to addressing our problem of low in-country refining capacity is modular refineries and that is why I am here to see things for myself. I am very proud of what I have seen. I also want to encourage Waltersmith and pledge my full support towards their expansion plans so that we can solve our country’s energy problem,” Lokpobiri said.

Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company, a strategic business unit of the Waltersmith Group, the Waltersmith Refinery and Petrochemicals company, is the largest commissioned modular refinery in the country.

Read more: 6,000bpd Edo refinery receives crude feedstock from Oza field

The refinery project is being developed in phases, and while it has made a significant contribution to Nigeria’s refining capacity, it struggles like others to secure the feedstock required for its refinery runs.

Dapo Filani, the CEO of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, asked for the Minister’s intervention whenever an opportunity to acquire or take over a nearby asset arose to guarantee feedstock.

“We are ready to take on any nearby asset under a robust commercial term either as an operator or to manage it as a way of making it feasible for us to have guaranteed feedstock for both phase one and two of our refinery project. This tallies with the government’s objective of having a secure supply of petroleum products in place for the local market”, Filani stated.