Nigeria Oil Firm Waltersmith to Start Mini-Refinery in September

Waltersmith Petroman Oil Ltd., a Nigerian independent producer, will open a 5,000-barrel a day capacity modular refinery next month in Africa’s top crude producer that imports all of its refined-product needs.

The company, Nigeria’s first producer from marginal fields, plans to increase output to 30,000 barrels a day in two years, Chief Executive Officer Chikezie Nwosu said Wednesday at a webinar.

Nigeria is desperately trying to revive its refining industry that has languished for years. It has commissioned the revamping of four state-owned refineries with a total capacity of 445,000 barrels a day while Africa’s richest person, Aliko Dangote, is also building a plant with a capacity of 650,000 barrels a day that will help cut Nigeria’s $7 billion annual fuel-import bill.

“We expect that by September we should be ready to test-run the refinery, now at 98% completion,” he said. “We’re going to grow its capacity by an additional 25,000 barrels a day to make it 30,000 barrels.”

An earlier plan to commission the refinery, built by Houston-based VFuels, in May was hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, Nwosu said.

The crude processing plant is part of a bigger industrial energy park that will serve as a manufacturing base for oil and gas components. The project includes a 30-megawatt power station, which Waltersmith will expand to about 300 megawatts.


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