Local Content: NCDMB, Waltersmith Plan Modular Refinery in Brass


Emmanuel Adde in Yenagoa

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has disclosed that plans were already underway to collaborate with Waltersmith Petroleum in building a modular refinery in Brass, Bayelsa State.

Speaking during the inauguration of a modular science laboratory at Model Government Secondary School, Twon Brass and an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre at Government Secondary School Okpoama, on the Island, Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Board, noted that it was one of the investments opportunities being looked at by the NCDMB.

Mr. Wabote explained that developing oil and gas rich Brass local government would drive down the cost of production in the sector.

Describing Brass as a very strategic location where one could access any of the offshore installations, he noted that serious studies were going on currently to see how early the project could come on stream.

He said: “Part of the plan includes locating a modular refinery in partnership with Waltersmith Petroleum Ltd. and utilising feedstock from the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, which operates in the location.

“It is also a veritable location for even a dry dock facility or a floating dock facility.

“NCDMB is currently studying a strategy for establishing and enhancing all the existing dry dock facilities to maintain our ships, light crafts and also expand our integration base in the country.

“Brass Island development will force down oil production cost.”

According to him, the Island as a strategic location had the closest point from where one could access many of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platforms that operate off the shores of Nigerian waters, including Bonga main.

Wabote said that some of the offshore oil and gas fields were currently being accessed from far locations like Lagos, with considerable cost implications.

The Executive Secretary said that developing and utilising nearby locations like Brass Island for oil and gas logistics operations would help the industry meet the recent charge by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, for players in the industry to ensure a significant reduction in the cost per barrel of Nigeria’s crude oil production.

He added: “Part of the strategy is to site logistics requirements where it is easy to access, reducing time, fuel consumption and improving Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) time.

“A serious study is going on currently to see the things that would be possible on the Island of Brass in order to bring down our cost of production”

On the donation of the laboratory and ICT Centre to the secondary schools in Brass, he said that it was part of the effort to build the capacity of Nigeria which was in line with the mandate of the board.

“Capacity building is one of NCDMB’s key objectives and the agency had decided to promote such efforts from the primary school level up to the university level.

“So far, NCDMB had donated 25 ICT centres to secondary schools across the country and built the capacity of teachers in some states as part of its capacity building and corporate social responsibility programmes” he said.

On his part, the member representing the area in the House of Representatives, Mr. Israel Sunny-Goli thanked the leadership of the NCDMB for embarking on the projects.

“We are all aware that practicals are very critical in any science subject and for him to have come to build will definitely help the students in their academics.

“So, I want to say thank you to him for going beyond his core mandate and then investing in the education of our people. And to all the students and teachers of this school, I urge you to protect these equipment and use them to your own advantage.

“I urge the students and teachers to guard this property like it’s theirs because education is key,” he said.