Engineering equipment manufacturer/oil and gas services provider, Solewant Group, said it has spent over $50 million and currently investing additional $150 million, cumulating to over $200 million investments, in the expansion of its automated Longitudinal Submerged Arc-Welding (LSAW) pipe milling plant.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of Solewant Group, Mr. Solomon Ewanehi, said the investments were to enable the company consolidate and provide standard steel pipes needed in the African oil and gas and water sectors.
Ewanehi, disclosed this when a team from the ministry of water resources paid an inspection visited to the company’s facilities at Alode, Eleme-Onne, in Rivers State.
Facilities inspected at the Solewant Group Industrial Area included the company’s Pipe and metals fabrication centre, state-of-the-art laboratory, fabrication and coating yard of over 139,000 square meters, multi-layer pipe coating plant and concrete weight coating factory.
Ewanehi noted that Nigeria has over the years suffered from inadequate local capacity in the water, oil and gas industry, particularly in the areas of in-country value addition and production of tubular goods.
To address the gap, Ewanehi, said the company set up her Industrial Area to drive local content and provide direct impetus to the existing water, oil and gas laws and regulations that support local content development.
He added that Solewant Industrial Area would also provide a strong African presence, as Nigeria is at the forefront of the West African development where major oil, gas and water facilities were being installed.
He said their journey to manufacturing was an example of value creation that started in 2004, when the federal government met with some stakeholders in Abuja to examine progress made by indigenous industries.
This, he said, led to the development of the company’s Industrial Area.
“The purpose of this pipe and metals centre is to provide employment to the youth and training of engineers in pipes/pipe coating application services, encouraging local content, technology transfer, to save time of project delivery and minimize cost of projects and efficient pipes/metals coating solution to project owners,” he said.
In his remarks, leader of the delegation from the ministry, Mr. Oyok Nsa, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Water Resources, Adamu Suleiman, described the products manufactured by Solewant Group as of high quality and unprecedented in Nigeria.
According to Nsa, “it is more gratifying to see a hundred percent Nigerian company manufacture such products in-country, and as such, Solewant needs to be encouraged and supported.”
He said the ministry was concerned with the prevalence of material failures in water supply infrastructure in Nigeria, occasioned by the use of sub-standard uPVC/HDPE Pipes, casing, screens and fittings.