Waltersmith looks to invest $2bn on upstream, refining, petrochemicals & power in 10yrs

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Abdulrazaq Isa, speaks in this interview with New Telegraph on his vision to transform an exploration and production company into an integrated energy firm.

On the company’s plans for the next ten years he said; “In the next 10 years we plan to increase our oil production to 100, 000 barrels per day. Now, the size of the investment that will enable you achieve this entails a number of things. You have to get the reserves, you have to buy the oil, buy the concession – we are looking at anywhere around $500 million dollars or more. This will give you the level of reserve you need for that size of production. Given this range, in the next 10 years we are talking of investment to the tune of $2 billion to cover upstream, refining and petrochemicals and power.”

“The next question, how are you going to fund this? It is not easy to find funds but you can find money when you have good quality project. I believe so. Getting funds for our modular refinery was tough because we had to approach international development financial institutions and were subjected to rigorous financial evaluations. Once this is up and running, it opens doors for similar projects. People are already talking to us about wanting to do one deal or the other. You must invest money in the development of the project. This is risk capital; it does not give you anything. This enables you to de-risk the project and make it attractive to investors, both local and international.”

“For us, it is a mark of faith in our country and a way of giving back by adding value. For a power plant, for instance, you need development capital of between $7 – 10 million that you spend and all you have are just papers. This is because at the end of the day all you would have are reports from various consultants, feasibility, market and environmental studies etc. Mind you, you are engaging international consultants that you have to pay. This is the documentation you require to approach international development finance institutions.”

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