Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has signed a $35 million debt facility agreement with Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, for a proposed 5,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery project to be situated in Imo state.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Chairman/Chief Executive officer Waltersmith refining and petrochemical company, Mr. Abdulrazaq Isa, noted that the investment by Waltersmith, AFC and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) into the refinery project is clearly strategic and cannot be coming at a better time.
He further noted that the investment in the project became imperative to enable continuous production from its upstream business all year round without interruptions arising from vandalisation of crude oil pipelines.
Isa assured that the new refinery will contribute about 271 million litres of refined product annually to the Nigerian economy, serving as an import substitution for meeting domestic demand for petroleum products, create both direct and indirect employment opportunities as well as reduce the amount of foreign exchange demand on the country’s treasury needed to import these products
On his part, the Senior Director Investments Group at the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) Mr. Taiwo Adeniji noted that AFC has been working with Waltersmith for close to four years in trying to get the project off the ground.
“Companies such as Waltersmith are making an effort to reverse this trend of using our currency to import refined petroluem products deserve all our support and that is exactly what AFC is doing by supporting the development of this project”.
Recall that the National Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) recently signed a $10 million equity investment agreement with Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited for the modular refinery.
Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, while signing the agreement said the investment decision was in line with the Board’s vision to be the catalyst for the industrialisation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) continues to restate its commitment to actualise the December 2019 target set by the Federal Government to end the importation of petroleum products into the country.
The corporation recently announced the issuance of license to 13 modular refinery operators. The modular refineries, according to NNPC, will stop the illegal refining of crude and also create employment and wealth among residents of the Niger Delta.