The Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has signed a $10-million equity agreement with Waltersmith Petroman Oil Ltd. subsidiary Waltersmith Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (WRPCL) for construction of the operator’s newly proposed 5,000-b/d modular refinery at Ibigwe, Imo state, Nigeria.
As part of the shareholders and share subscription agreements signed in Lagos on June 29, NCDMB will take 30% equity in the modular refinery, NCDMB said.
The investment decision aligns with NCDMB’s vision to be the catalyst for industrialization of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors, as well as the board’s goal to support the Nigerian federal government’s policy to expand the country’s existing refining capacity through use of modularly constructed refineries.
In accordance with the investment under its clearly defined role as a catalyst, NCDMB also already has its exit strategy in place to ensure that the refinery ultimately reverts to a fully owned, privately run modular refinery, said Simbi Kesiye Wabote, NCDMB’s executive secretary.
Wabote further advised potential project sponsors and promoters of modular refineries seeking NCDMB’s support to study the checklist of requirements hosted on the board’s website, reiterating his belief that at least 10% of Nigeria’s oil production should be refined using modular refining installations.
The proposed refinery, which will be sited close to and refine Nigerian crude from Ibigwe onshore field in eastern Niger Delta, will produce refined petroleum products for distribution to consumers within a 40-km radius of the plant, added Abdulrasaq Isah, Waltersmith’s chairman.
Alongside supporting the government’s plan to substitute imported refined products with products produced domestically from Nigerian crude supplies, Isah expressed optimism that the project would support a broader strategy of establishing modular refineries to address Nigeria’s ongoing menace of pipeline vandalism, illegal refining, and other social challenges prevalent in the oil-producing region.
WRPCL previously let a contract Velem—a joint venture of Lambert Electromec Ltd., Lagos, and VFuels LLC, Houston—to immediately begin engineering, procurement, construction, and modular refinery fabrication for the processing site, which is scheduled to be completed within 18 months.