In line with the resolve of the new management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to fix the local refineries, the organisation is set for the turnaround maintenance (TAM) of the Kaduna and Warri refineries.
Already, the Mallam Kyari-led management has commenced the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery. Recently, the NNPC group managing director (GMD), Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, described Nigeria’s continued import of petroleum products as a national embarrassment and vowed to fix the refineries.
In a statement he issued yesterday in Abuja, NNPC’s group general manager, Group Public Affair Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said that the rehabilitation of the two Port Harcourt refineries were ongoing.
He said: “Our expectations are that after the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery, we will start that of the other two refineries. We just want to use the Port Harcourt as an example.’’
The first refinery in Port Harcourt was commissioned in 1965 to process 60,000 barrels of oil per stream day (bpsd) as well as the second plant which was commissioned in 1989 with a capacity of 150,000 bpsd.
Ughamadu said that the rehabilitation of the plants was part of the federal government’s efforts to get the refineries working, adding that the consultant and the contractors engaged by the NNPC were still on the ground working.
Both refineries have a combined capacity of 210,000 barrels per stream a day making it the biggest oil refining company in Nigeria. They both had the last Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) in 2000.
“The rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery is still on and the contractors are there with the consultants and ENI is equally there. As we said earlier, we are funding the rehabilitation from internally generated revenue because all our efforts to get external financiers did not work because their terms were not in line with what we expected,’’ Ughamadu said.
The NNPC spokesman clarified that the contractors were working within the timeframe and may complete the exercise before the expiration of the deadline.
In March 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Italian oil giant, ENI and NNPC in Rome. In the MoU, ENI was committed to the refurbishment of the Port Harcourt Refinery.
Also, in March 2019, the former group managing director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru led the federal government’s delegation to inaugurate the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refineries.
He had said that the rehabilitation would be in two phases, adding that both the ENI and the original builders would participate in the process.
According to him, it is part of the government’s effort to achieve 90 per cent local refining capacity.
Upon assumption office last month, Kyari vowed to fix Nigeria’s four refineries and end the country’s importation of petroleum products. He also promised to encourage private sector investment in the refineries’ sub-sector.
At a valedictory session for Baru, where he took over the mantle of leadership as the 19th GMD of the corporation, Kyari said: “We must end the trend of fuel importation as an oil producing country. We will deliver on the rehabilitation of the four refineries within the life of this administration and support the private sector to build refineries.
“We will support the Dangote Refinery to come on stream on schedule. We will transform Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products by 2023,” Kyari stated in his address at the event.
He said that the age-long federal government’s target of raising crude oil production and reserves to three million barrels per day and 40 billion barrels respectively was possible and that he would galvanise the corporation to achieve it by 2023.
On transparency and accountability, Kyari said that the presence of the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, at the event, was a pointer to how much the corporation had changed over the past three years from the old image of a corruption-laden organisation, stressing that he would continue to entrench the culture of accountability in the affairs of the corporation.
“We are going to work with the EFCC to remove every element of discretion from our processes, because discretion is one of the greatest enablers of corruption”, he said.
On his commitment to entrench transparency in the operations of the corporation, Kyari said that every Nigerian was a stakeholder in the corporation, which implied everyone’s right to information on how NNPC is managed, adding that the “NNPC will not be opaque, we’ll be transparent to all so that at the end of the day everyone will be in a position to assess us and say what we have done right or wrong.”
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