The NNPC said it would on Monday re-open the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) Depot in Aba, closed almost a decade ago due to pipeline vandalism.
This is contained in a statement signed by the acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr Fidel Pepple on Sunday in Abuja.
It said the re-opening of the depot would ensure the efficient distribution and supply of petroleum products in the South-East Zone.
It said the plan was part of efforts to retool the downstream sector as emphasised by the new Group Managing Director, Mr Andrew Yakubu.
“One of the key objectives of the new management as espoused by the GMD during his maiden town hall meeting with staff recently was the revamping of critical downstream oil facilities and infrastructure.
"He specifically mentioned the rehabilitation of strategic depots, jetties and pipeline segments from Port Harcourt to Yola.
"The re-opening of the Aba Depot is therefore a major step in that direction as it will help ease the hitches in petroleum products supply in the South-East and going forward, in the North-Central and North-East. ”
It said Managing Director of the PPMC, Mr Haruna Momoh described the re-opening as a major milestone for the company in its drive to ensure unimpeded flow of petroleum products in the South Eastern zone of the country.
“The advantages of having Aba Depot back to operation are quite a handful; first it will reduce pressure on the Port Harcourt Refinery/Depot.
``It will make Abia, Imo, Anambra and environs wet with petroleum products and naturally the multiplier effect will lead to automatic jerk up of economic activities in Aba and the entire zone,’’ Momoh was quoted as saying.
The statement said the plan would ``totally eliminate the incidence of bridging of products from Port Harcourt to Aba and the nation will be saved the cost of bridging via the Petroleum Equalisation Fund scheme''.
The PPMC boss, according to the statement, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for providing ``the much needed impetus'' for the NNPC and PPMC to embark on the phased rehabilitation of the nation’s 21 loading depots which had been in comatose.
“Since we came on board at PPMC in 2011, we have set in motion an aggressive plan to make all our depots active as directed by the Minister of Petroleum.
"So far we have been able to re-commission Suleja after 15 years of inactivity.
"We re-commissioned Minna, Kano, Gusau, Jos and now we are in Aba and very soon we shall be in Benin and Gombe before moving to Makurdi, Enugu and Yola.”
Momoh called on residents of Aba to be vigilant and ensure that pipeline vandals and oil thieves did not grind the depot to a halt again (NAN)