By Udeme Akpan
THE refining capacity of Nigeria has increased from 445,000 barrels per day, bpd, to 462,000 bpd, as private investors complete the construction of three new refineries, indicating an increase of 3.8 percent.
The refining capacity of the nation’s four refineries, located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Warri, Delta State, and Kaduna, Kaduna State, had for several years been stagnated at 445,000 bpd, which was inadequate to meet domestic demand.
But, in its latest report— List of Valid Refinery Licences— obtained by Vanguard, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, stated the completion of work on the Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, OPAC Refineries Limited and Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (Train2), which have 5,000 bpd, 7,000 bpd and 5,000 bpd respectively, thus increasing the nation’s capacity by 17,000 bpd to 462,000 bpd.
However, the report did not disclose when the new plants, located in Ibegwe, Imo State, Umuseti, Delta State and Ogbele, Rivers States, respectively, would come on stream.
But in his email response to Vanguard, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, who specifically referred to Waltersmith, said: “The Waltersmith Modular Refinery is a 5,000bpd facility with total annual product volume of 271 million litres and daily output of about 300,000liters of diesel (AGO), over 50,000 litres of kerosene (DPK) and 400,000 litres of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).
“These numbers are significant in plugging some of the gaps in local refining. This meant a secured source of undiluted petroleum products for businesses within Imo State and other surrounding states.
“I must commend the doggedness and the professionalism of the Waltersmith Group led by the Chairman, Mr Abdulrasak Isa.
“Within a period of two years of our partnership, we have come to appreciate the growth plans of this independent oil producer, including the Phase 2 of this project, which has a capacity of 30,000 bpd.
“We had targeted the commissioning of the refinery in May 2020, but this was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a key partner in the establishment of the modular refinery, we plan to invite dignitaries within the limits COVID-19 protocols to witness this remarkable event led by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.
“We will use the event to showcase what can be realised when there is a synergy between government and the private sector.”
Engr. Wabote, who confirmed that the plant was ready, said: “The refinery is ready for commissioning with the completion of the pre-commissioning tests.
“With the satisfactory inspection by DPR, the facility is ready for start-up and we are aiming for this month.”