May 26, 2024

Nigerian Content Act has boosted domestic refining – NCDMB

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Nigerian Content Act has boosted domestic refining - NCDMB

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote says the painstaking implementation of the Nigerian Content Act has encouraged more local modular refineries to increase domestic refining.

Wanted explained that Waltersmith Modular Refinery supported by the NCDMB in 2023 so far produced and sold over 170 million liters of petroleum products, amounting to about 3,000 trucks of petroleum products that would have been hitherto imported using scarce forex.

Speaking during the 12th Practical Nigerian Content Forum held in Yenagoa on Tuesday, Wabote, disclosed that site works for the expansion of the refinery to 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity had started in September 2023 to further expand in-country refining.

The 12th edition of the Practical Nigerian Contest Forum which has as it theme: Deepening Nigerian Content Amidst Divestments, Domestication and Decarbonisation, draws Stakeholders from the oil and gas industry to discuss the progress of the local content in the country.

He said the technical operations data shows that the number of registered industry operators grew from 53 in 2018 to 114 in 2023 representing about a 100 per cent increase.

According to him, within the same period, service companies increased from 8,000 to 11,000 while individual registrations increased from 140,000 to almost 400,000.

He said: “Regarding our Commercial Ventures portfolio, we partnered with Waltersmith to establish a 5,000-bpd modular refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State. This year alone, the refinery has produced and sold over 170 million litres or about 3,000 trucks of petroleum products that would have been hitherto imported using our scarce forex.

“I am pleased to note that site works for the expansion of the refinery to 10,000 bpd refinery commenced in September 2023.

“The three other modular refineries are being progressed to completion and start-up. For example, the financials, we are close to getting the remaining funding for Azikel Refinery. It is nearing completion with the great support from AFREXIM bank,” Wabote said.

The Executive Secretary also explained that Dupont Refinery in Edo State is essentially complete, as the NCDMB is looking at the various options and offers to bring closure to the partnership in line with the board’s Investment Policy.

He said that in 2017, NCDMB launched its 10-year Strategic Roadmap aimed at increasing Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry to 70% by the year 2027.

Wabotev recalled that NCDMB had rolled out five pillars and four enablers to drive the focus areas under the roadmap, each supported with short-medium and long-term initiatives.

He expressed delight that the journey has been transformational from where NCDMB started to the current point.

“We have completed 83% of the 96 initiatives under the strategic roadmap with the focus now shifting to the remaining initiatives that require some heavy lifting to bring into fruition.

“With the support of the industry, our sponsors, principals, advocates, staff, contractors, host communities, and even critics, the transformational impact of the delivery of these initiatives has been of resounding success.

“Under this pillar, we have transformed two of our portfolios of NOGAPS sites from bare land to industrial parks to support in-country manufacturing and assembly of equipment and input materials required for exploration and production activities.

“While these two NOGAPS sites are essentially ready for commissioning, we are keen to operationalize it by having manufacturing activities in place which is scheduled for the first half of next year.

“Under the strategic roadmap, we set up a dedicated $50 million fund to co-finance industry research and development activities,” he said.

Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, said the establishment of NCDMB has brought a lot of positive changes in the oil and gas industry.

Speaking through the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, Lokpobiri said that Nigeria is committed to fostering local content because various challenges are embracing the change is very important.

On his part, Governor Douye Diri, commended the NCDMB for her developmental strides since it was created in 2010, to regulate oil firms amongst others.

Diri was represented by Chief Gideon Ekeowe, Secretary to the Bayelsa Government. He added that Bayelsa and the country at large have benefited a lot in terms of human capital development and terms of empowerment of individuals and communities.

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