The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote has disclosed that the 5000 barrels per day modular refinery being developed by Waltersmith Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited with equity investment from the NCDMB would be completed in May 2020.
The date was confirmed when Wabote and the Director of Finance and Personnel Management, Mr Isaac Yalah inspected the project site on Monday at Ibigwe, Imo State, in company of the Chairman of Waltersmith, Mr Abdulrasaq Isah and the Executive Vice-Chairman, Mr Danjuma Sale.
It was revealed that the progress completion of the project which stands at 65 per cent was seven per cent ahead of the original schedule. The engineering and procurement components had also been completed, with construction at 60 per cent.
Describing the project as an investment channelled in the right direction, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB commended the contractors – Lambert Electromac and Zerock for their remarkable pace of execution, dedication and expertise and for continuing with the project work in spite of the rains.
Speaking further, Wabote expressed delight at the number of Nigerians working on various aspects of the project, stating that it underscores President Mohammed Buhari’s commitment to creating employment for young Nigerians from the activities of the oil and gas industry. “I hope similar projects would come on stream pretty soon to generate employment for Nigerians.“
And in accordance with the Nigerian Content Act requirements for succession plans, Wabote also charged the contractors to train and absorb more Nigerians in senior management positions and make them permanent members of their companies, even after the project phase.
In line with the requirements of the succession plan of the Nigerian Content Act, Wabote charged the contractors to train and absorb more Nigerians in senior management positions and make them permanent members of their companies, even after the project phase.
Wabote who noted that the Ibigwe modular refinery was the first of such projects to be undertaken by the NCDMB and Watersmith also hinted that the Board had sanctioned another modular refinery project to be developed at Calabar, Cross River State.
Speaking also, the Chairman of Waltersmith thanked the Executive Secretary for the visit and affirmed that the company was satisfied with the quality of work from the contractors. He also noted that Waltersmith had been steadfast on its obligations to the firms. “We expect you to remain consistent with us as well. But we are very happy with what we have seen and we are looking forward to commissioning and beginning to sell diesel and kerosene from this site in May 2020.”
The Project Manager of Lambert Electromac, Mr Mohamad Chit stated that all the outstanding construction at the site was above the ground and being fast-tracked. He stated that the installation stage is expected to take four weeks when it begins in October 2019.
The Board and Waltersmith signed the equity investment agreement in June 2018. Wabote had explained at the ceremony that the investment decision was in line with the Board’s vision ‘to be the catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors.’
He added that the Board was also keen to support the Federal Government’s policy on modular refineries and meet the key objectives of the Petroleum Industry’s Seven Big Wins launched by President Mohammed Buhari in October 2016 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Program (EGRP).