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NNPC changes plan, engages original builders to revamp 4 refineries

An indication that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) may have dumped its earlier gigantic, but well criticized plot to bleed away about $1,8bn in the Turnaround maintenance (TAM) of the four national refineries has emerged.

Currently, the Corporation has decidedly settled for interfacing with the original builders of the refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, to return their capacity utilisation to about 90 per cent ahead of 2019 general elections.

It would be recalled that installed capacities of each of the four refineries stood at 445,000 barrels per day on delivery, but in the last 11 years, they have operated far below the capacity upon yearly repairs with billions of dollars.

Details from the latest quarterly publication for the fourth quarter of 2017, revealed that NNPC is actually working in tandem with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and other stakeholders to implant a novel refining model and other strategies that would restore the refineries and expand existing capacities to record levels.

Already, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, recently inaugurated eight committees charged with the express directive to return the refineries to their nameplate capacities by 2019 at least to help push re-election campaign of the Minister of Petroleum who doubles as the President and Commander in Chief after all.

The Quarterly Report noted that “To encourage seamless work flow and underscore the crucial nature of the task ahead, the committees are headed by a steering committee, chaired by the GMD. Other committees are: rehabilitation, stakeholder management, financing, legal, procurement, pipeline and crude oil supply and security as well as staffing and succession planning.

“For a start, the corporation has gone back to the original refineries’ builders, which are the JGC Corporation of Japan for Port Harcourt Refinery, Italy-based Snamprogetti, for Warri Refinery and Japan-based Chyoda, for Kaduna Refinery.”

According to the Chief Operating Officer in charge of the refineries and petrochemicals autonomous business unit, NNPC, Mr. Anibor Kragha, “The original builders had actually started conducting studies to determine the cost of fixing the plants and returning them to minimum capacity utilisation of 90 per cent”.