From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Federal Government’s plans to boost local refining of petroleum products brightened yesterday as General Electric (GE), a United States-based multinational company has proposed to invest and revamp the ailing Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries.
GE, in a presentation to the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, and the management of the corporation stated that the company’s teams of partners, including its consortium involving engineering, procurement and Construction (EPC) partners, off-takers, traders and some financiers would be engaged in the initiative.
GE, with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, is worth $493 billion in asset and its business focus areas include oil and gas, power, water supply, aviation, healthcare, transportation and capital raising.
“We were involved in the tenders that started around last year, which was subsequently withdrawn, but our commitment to bringing the refineries on-stream is still very deep and we are very serious about it. We propose that work commences either with the Warri or Port Harcourt Refinery as a pilot, as we set a target to improve the refinery capacity before the end of 2017,’’ the company stated in its presentation.
GE’s desire to partner NNPC on the rehabilitation of the three refineries came on the heels of a similar proposal by the Italian company, Eni, to establish cooperation with NNPC for the rehabilitation and enhancement of Port Harcourt Refinery as contained in the company’s release in Rome on July 23, 2017. Leading a delegation to the NNPC Towers, Jeff Immelt, GE Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said as part of the offering, GE and NNPC have identified some major national power projects in the country and are currently developing the scope of intervention in the projects, which have a potential combined capacity of about 4.4 gigawatts.
The company further pledged its readiness to work with the NNPC to make production in the off-shore fields profitable for the benefit of both companies and other stakeholders, expressing the hope to consolidate on its existing working relationship with the Corporation to expand the prevailing power business and help it achieve its vision of becoming the leading power company in Nigeria.