By Edith Ike-Eboh & Emmanuel Afonne
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) began its week with the signing of a $ 1.5 billion engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) contract for the rehabilitation of the 210,000 barrels per day refinery of the Port Harcourt Refinery (PHRC) in Alesa-Eleme, Rivers State.
The signing of the contract was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari‘s promise to Nigerians that its refineries would be rehabilitated to be fully operational to boost local refining of crude oil for economic growth and development.
The rehabilitation project, which has a completion time of 18 to 44 months as part of a three-phase agreement, has been awarded to Milan-based Tecnimont SpA for a lump sum price of $ 1.5 billion , VAT and other legal payments included.
NNPC Group Managing Director Malam Mele Kyari described the PHRC rehabilitation project as a dream come true, noting that the project was in line with President Buhari’s promise to Nigerians to run the refineries.
He reiterated that in arriving at the choice of Tecnimont SpA, the Company has engaged in a transparent tendering process that can withstand any forensic audit, noting that NNPC was ready and open to respond to any question about the project.
He assured that the same transparent process had been put in place for the rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna refineries whose EPCIC contracts would be awarded in June 2021.
Meanwhile, industry stakeholders praised the company for signing the contract and its efforts to secure crude oil refining in the country.
The Petroleum Product Retailers Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), in a congratulatory letter to the GMD, urged the company to continue supporting initiatives that would promote the development of the oil and gas sector.
The (NAN) reports that the transport of the AKK gas pipes from Warri to Itakpe would serve as a major stimulus in the delivery of the AKK gas project.
NRC recently began the first transport of AKK gas pipelines on its standard gauge line, the first time the pipelines would be transported on rail lines in Nigeria.
Kyari, who praised the company’s team for the arrival by rail of the AKK gas project pipelines from Warri to Itakpe, added that it was cost effective, faster in delivery, safer and protecting country roads.
He said the infrastructure revolution was paying off as the locomotive carried 96 pipes at a time – the equivalent of 32 trailers on the road.
Knowing the importance of air transport and the aviation sector to the national economy, the company further took a giant step during the week to hand over the management of the Osubi airstrip to the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for smooth and safe operations for commuters.
The Osubi airstrip was commissioned on April 17, 1999 by the joint venture between NNPC and Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) as part of their corporate social responsibility programs.
The Managing Director of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) Group, Mr. Bala Wunti, who was represented by the Joint Venture’s Director of Supply Chain Management, Mr. Lawrence Amaechi, said the Handover of the airstrip was aimed at ensuring efficient and effective operations of the facility by FAAN.
The Osubi airstrip in Warri, Delta State, was built and operated by SPDC until 2015, when it transferred its 45% share to another JV partner, Shoreline, while NAPIMS managed the 55% share on behalf of NNPC.
In addition, the company reiterated its commitment to boost biofuels in the country and confirmed its strong commitment with its partnership with the Kebbi State government in this regard.
NNPC Director General Malam Mele Kyari, while receiving Kebbi State Governor Senator Atiku Bagudu, who paid him a courtesy visit to his office, said the cassava production program in the State was a definite boost for the biofuels project.
Kyari assured that the link between the agricultural sector and the energy sector will facilitate economic growth and bring prosperity to citizens.
“We will continue and renew the MoU and make any necessary amendments that are necessary to speed up the operation of this business,” said the GMD.
Kyari also alluded to the Company’s plan to resume active exploration activities in the Sokoto Basin.
Earlier in his remarks, the Governor of Kebbi State expressed his gratitude to the NNPC for its cooperation on the biofuel project.
He said the cassava program was well on track, but the same cannot be said for the sugarcane program as the target milestone has not yet been reached.
Governor Bagudu assured the GMD of his commitment to the success of the project.
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