In partnership with Waltersmith Petroleum Oil Limited, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) announced its aim to assist Equatorial Guinea in the development of in-country modular refineries.
In a statement released last week, the NCDMB set forth a strategy of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, specifically in the development of Equatorial Guinea’s ability to process its crude oil, build value in-country and reduce the amount of imported petroleum derivatives.
NCDMB Executive Secretary Engr. Simbi Wabote and Chairperson of Waltersmith, Abdulrazaq Isah, hosted H.E. Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima at the Waltersmith modular refinery, being developed at Ibigwe in Imo State, which carries a 30% equity investment from the NCDMB.
Built by a local company, the Waltersmith modular refinery, which processes 5,000 barrels per day, serves as an example of a downstream development with a strong local content emphasis, with 90% of workers being Nigerian.
H.E. Minister Obiang Lima stated that Equatorial Guinea aims to replicate the model used in the construction and operation of the Nigerian modular refinery and highlighted the need for knowledge and best practices sharing among African countries, with an emphasis on local content.
“We cannot continue to export crude oil. We should start processing our products and we are watching what Nigeria is doing and we want to replicate them,” said H.E. Minister Lima. “There are a lot of things we can learn from brotherly countries and in this case, Nigeria. Rather than go to Europe or United States or Asia, we decided to visit our neighbor, to see what they do. We believe that with this cooperation and experience between our country and Waltersmith and the Nigerian petroleum industry, we should be able to replicate it.”
Cooperation between the two countries will also extend to the assessment and evaluation of commercial elements of the modular refinery to ensure its economic viability. The construction of modular refineries is one of several planned investments in Equatorial Guinea, with the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons setting a target of $1 billion in foreign direct investment in 2020.