Waltersmith has performed the ground-breaking ceremony of its 5,000 bopd refinery at Ibigwe Field, Imo State. Having executed the EPC agreement with the contractor, VELEM and reached financial close of $35m debt for the facility with the Africa Finance Corporation, construction will start immediately on the project and should be completed in 20 months.

The project was commissioned by the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu and was witnessed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Engineer Simbi Wabote, the Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr Osagie Okunbor and the Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, NNPC Mr Saidu Mohammed.

It also had in attendance other representatives from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS). The members of the community played a prominent part in the ceremony and were represented by the King, Eze Ekweme Ekweme and other high-ranking Chiefs.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Honourable Minister of State reiterated that his vision was to see Nigeria become the refining hub in Africa and was delighted to witness the ground-breaking ceremony of the modular refinery.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote explained the Board’s decision to invest in Waltersmith’s modular refinery is in line with their vision to be a catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors and was happy to work with Waltersmith as we have demonstrated a high level of professionalism and capacity to deliver on the project.

The project is a major milestone for Waltersmith and it’s the first phase of the 30, 000 bopd target for the company which will include the processing of other products like jet fuel and petrol. Expected delivery date is June 2020.

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