The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has identified modular refineries as the shortest way to addressing Nigeria’s energy problems.
Lokpobiri stated this when speaking to journalists during a visit to WalterSmith Modular Refinery, operated by WalterSmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, at Ibigwe in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State on Tuesday.
The minister said: “Well, as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, it is my responsibility to ensure that there is sufficient supply of petroleum products pending the resumption of refining activities in the nation’s refineries.
“I take charge of the programme to supervise the rehabilitation of our state-owned refineries. That is why I have gone round all the refineries in Port Harcourt, the refinery in Warri and the refinery in Kaduna. You know the shortest way to addressing our energy problem is the modular refineries.
“That is why the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Board, said there was the need for us to visit the WalterSmith and that is why I am here today to see things for myself. I am sure anybody that enters here will be very proud of what we are seeing here.
“The ones that are state-owned are still under rehabilitation. But, this one is working. I am happy to be here to see what is going on and to encourage WalterSmith; to that, we can solve our energy problems in this country.”
“But, I want to say that it is not enough for us to give those who have modular refinery license money. We need to identify those who have proven record of success. Some people will take the money and divert it, but here we are physically seeing one that is functional. And we have also see the expansion of what is going on. And so, we will do whatever we can to support them.”
Speaking with journalists, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, expressed delight that the modular refinery was successful.
Wabote said: “We can see the success story of WalterSmith Modular Refinery. They have produced over 600 million litres of various products from this refinery. About 20 trucks leave the refineries on daily basis.
“We have gone round and you can see that the refinery is working. We are very happy it is successful. Usually, it is not every investment that you participate in that comes out successful.”