- Says full refining capacities to be restored in 2022
Chineme Okafor in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has again said that repair works on its three refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, which have remained decrepit for years no, would begin in January of 2020.
The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Malam Mele Kyari gave the promise in a statement signed by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu.
Kyari disclosed the latest promise of restoring the full refining capacities of the refineries during a facilities tour of the Port-Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company (PHRC).
As indicated in the statement, Kyari said the refineries would again be able to refine crude oil at optimum capacity by 2022.
Kyari explained that that full rehabilitation of the plants would commence in January of 2020, and that he was committed to ensuring that the refineries deliver real time value and address the petroleum needs of Nigerians.
He said making the refineries to operate at optimal capacities was a mandate that NNPC as a corporation would leave no stone unturned to actualise and added that a timely delivery of the asset was a priority.
He said: “We will stick to time; we will deliver this project by 2022. We will commence actual rehabilitation work in January. We will do everything possible between October and December to close out all necessary conditions for us to deliver on that project.
“I believe that with the support that we have from the shareholders – government of this country, the entire staff of this company and the contractors, I believe it is doable and we will deliver the project.”
He thus tasked the contractors on the need to consider their reputation as the most critical element in business processes and engagements.
According to him, it is no longer about business now, but a reputational issue.
“For the original builders of the refinery, Tecnimont, Eni/NAOC and NNPC, let us be conscious of the fact that our reputation is at stake as far as this project is concerned”, he added. He noted that the NNPC leadership “has promised this country that our refineries will work, therefore, we must work not to disappoint over 200 million Nigerian stakeholders.”
Kyari, also tasked the management of PHRC to ensure that indigenous engineers and other professionals working in the refinery would be fully engaged to participate actively during the rehabilitation exercise.
He said the involvement of indigenous workers would help build their capacities, save cost and introduce an era of steady and uninterrupted production curve that would grow the oil and gas industry of Nigeria.
In his presentation on the progress of work on the first phase of the repair work, Tecnimont Project Manager, Mr. La Mattina Carmelo said the inspection aspect of the project had progressed to 91 per cent while final report and Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) proposal was at 75 per cent.
Carmelo said his company would deliver the first phase of the rehabilitation within three weeks from now, noting that there were no challenges as the project was progressing efficiently and pledged to offer the best services to ensure a timely delivery.
Similarly, the project consulting company, Eni/NAOC, which the statement said was represented by the its Project Manager, Daniele Tamburini, confirmed that the work done so far by the NNPC and Tecnimont complied with global standard.
Tamburini said his company was ready to receive the full report of the scoping for final assessment and support the corporation to deliver the project in record time.
The corporation has repeatedly made promises to repair the refineries, but failed to fulfill the promises.
The inefficiency of the refineries has resulted in Nigeria importing most of the petroleum products it uses to run her domestic economy, an unpleasant development that pushed former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to threaten to resign his ministerial portfolio by May 2019 if Nigeria continued to import petrol.
The corporation had also recently made effort to get private investors to fund the repair of the refineries on terms that would have been beneficial to both parties, but the arrangement collapsed eventually when the parties could not agree on terms.