Waltersmith refinery Nigeria

Nigeria launches first modular refinery

IBIGWE, November 25, 2020 – Nigeria launched its first modular refinery on Tuesday, with President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurating the 5,000-bpd Waltersmith facility in Imo State.

The facility is the first to be commissioned in what is expected to be a wave of modular refineries, which hold the benefits of scalability, cost efficiency and processing that takes place at the crude source, allowing onsite value addition.

The refinery was built by a consortium of VFuels and Lambert Electromec. It will produce kerosene, diesel, naphtha and heavy fuel oil.


VFuels undertook the design engineering and fabrication of the process unit. The company’s managing director, Souheil Abboud, told The Energy Year earlier this year that a decentralised refining network can help developing markets avoid the costs and logistical issues that stem from distributing from centralised facilities.

“These types of projects are relatively simple to construct, operate and maintain; therefore, the impact on the local economy is substantial since a considerable amount of the services and material can be sourced locally,” he noted.

Read our latest interview with Souheil Abboud.

Tuesday’s commissioning was also attended by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Chief Timpre Marlin Sylva and Imo State Governor H.E. Senator Hope Uzodinma.

Read our latest interview with Chief Timpre Marlin Sylva.

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