The protracted plans by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to revive three operated refineries have finally scaled a critical transaction that would now enable the contractors to proceed to site and activate the much awaited rehabilitation job on the 210,000 barrels per day Port Harcourt Refinery.
The new phase of the arrangement follows eventual and effective award of the job to Tecnimont SPA which won the bid for full scope rehabilitation of the double plant refinery and restoration of operations that would see resumption of large scale production of petroleum products in the country after 23 years.
Spokesman of NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, who heads the Group Public Affairs Division of the corporation, declared in statement that the $1.5 billion contract for the job has been signed among deal partners while processes run for award of more contracts for rehabilitation of two more refineries in Warri and Kaduna.
He said the contracts for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) jobs on the two additional refineries would be awarded in June to complete the cycle of refinery revamp programme expected to significantly cut the nation’s fuel importation bills and conserve dwindling foreign exchange revenues.
According to Dr. Obateru, the signing of the contract on Port Harcourt Refinery revamp signals the resolve of the NNPC management to boost in-country refining capacity.
He said the rehabilitation project has a maximum completion timeline 44 months under a three-phase arrangement.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said the award of the contract marked the completion of a transparent tender process which can withstand any forensic audit. He noted that NNPC was ready and open to answer any question pertaining to the project.
He assured that the same transparent process would guide the contract for rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna refineries in June.
Mallam Kyari explained that the rehabilitation exercise was very different from a routine Turn-Around Maintenance as it would entail a total retrofitting of the plant with major part and equipment replaced with new ones.
Managing Director of Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited, Engr. Ahmed Dikko, explained that first and second phases of the project would get the refinery ready to receive crude oil and condensate, while the third phase would focus on the start-up of the refinery for operation.
He made it clear that the entire work shall be delivered in 44 months.
In his remarks, Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa Region of Tecnimont SpA, Davide Pelizzola, pledged the readiness of his company to work assiduously with the NNPC to comply with the terms and obligations of the contract.
The signing ceremony of the PHRC rehabilitation project was witnessed by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers NUPENG amongst others.