Despite the condemnations following the federal government’s plan to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery for $ 1.5 billion, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday made a pact with an Italian company, Tecnimont SpAfor to get the job done.
The national oil company also said arrangements were in place to overhaul the Warri and Kaduna refineries.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by the President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the USD 1.5 billion (approx. N 575 billion) for the immediate refurbishment of the 32-year-old facility in Port Harcourt.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had announced the work to be carried out in three phases.
According to him, the first phase should be completed within 28 months, while the second and third chapters took 24 and 44 months.
Nigeria has three refineries in Kaduna , Port Harcourt and Wa rri. The assets were built to operate at 445,000 bpd. But over the years the facilities have remained obsolete and currently do not process crude oils and are operating at a loss.
Yesterday’s deal, which took place in Abuja, was the managing director of the Port Harcourt Refinery Company (PHRC). Ahmed Dikko, who signed for his organization, while Davide Pellizola signed for the contractor.
At the event, NNPC Group Managing Director Mele Kyari said the original builders were unable to repair refineries
He noted that the options the company chose remained the best for the refinery, adding that the process that led to the decision was transparent.
“Mr. President promised the Nigerians to repair the refineries. We look forward to fulfilling this presidential mandate. We also supply refineries from Warri and Kaduna.
“I can tell you that no one at this company has been hired to work for anyone else’s interests other than the mandate to carry out this rehabilitation project,” said Kyari .