The 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State, Nigeria, was commissioned on Tuesday, 24th November 2020. It became the second private-owned functioning refinery in the country, after the 11,000 barrels per day Ogbele Expanded Refinery.
The Refinery was virtually commissioned by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. In attendance was the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the governor of Imo state, Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Chairman of Waltersmith Group, Abdulrazaq Isa, traditional rulers, Heads of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigerian Content Development Board – Mele Kyari and Engr. Simi Wabote, respectively; CEOs of Nigerian-owned oil major and Independent Exploration & Production companies and oil service companies.
The President also oversaw the ground-breaking of the 45,000 BPD expansion of the refinery. The company will build the second phase in two parts. One is a 25,000 BPD standalone condensate refinery which is to be completed by 2023. The second part is a 20,000 BPD crude processing plant.
The President said, “There is increased momentum in the other three focus areas under the roadmap covering the rehabilitation of existing refineries, co-location of new refineries, and construction of greenfield refineries,” he said.
”The realization of the refinery roadmap will ultimately lead us to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products not only to our neighbouring countries but to the worldwide market. This modular refinery is the largest commissioned modular refinery in the country today.”
PRIVATE REFINERIES IN NIGERIA
The 7,000 BOPS OPAC Refinery in Kwale, Delta State, may become Nigeria’s third functioning privately-owned refinery having already been completed and just awaiting commissioning.
Although sixteen (16) proposed refineries have been granted an “Authority to Construct,” only the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote refinery which is over 70% complete and the 6,000 BOPD Edo Refinery, which is also almost completed, are currently under construction.