From Uche Usim, Eleme, Rivers State
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, has assured Nigerians that the Port Harcourt Refinery Complex (PHRC) will roar back to life on or before April 5, 2023 when repairs would have been completed.
He gave the assurance on Thursday in Eleme, Rivers State, at the technical kick-off of the rehabilitation of the PHRC.
Kyari, who was represented by Mr Umar Ajiya, the Chief Financial Officer of NNPC, said that the management team hopes that Area 5 of the complex would be ready on the aforementioned date so that local petroleum refining can resume in Nigeria after decades of lull.
According to him, the NNPC management remains totally committed to supporting the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, to ensure schedule optimisation by cooperatively dealing with any snags that may delay project delivery.
He assured of NNPC’s support wherever needed, either internally and externally.
He said: “Nigerians expect their refineries to be up and running even though a giant one is coming. This is paramount to them.
“This is first time we’re carrying out a major rehabilitation. Technimont is an excellent company and we expect the best.
We thank all stakeholders involved in achieving this milestone.
We are available to support this project fully and will play our part. We will pay our contractor as and when due according to milestone achieved. We shall commit to any approval needed and visit from time to time to see the plant.
“We are happy we have the contractor onboard. With strong collaboration of all parties involved, we will achieve the desired results. We have both government and private sector financing. We have the finance ministry, NEITI, unions and other stakeholders on board this project. They want to see transparency so they can report same to Nigerians and this is one of the most transparent processes ever”, he stated
Also Speaking, the Chief Operating Officer Refinery Development, Mr Yinusa Yakubu said that a rigorous path was trod to select the contractor (Technimont) for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) stage of the refinery rehabilitation contract.
He ruled out the possibility of incurring additional costs but thanked the federal government for the release of $1.5 million for the project. He said that 3,000 people will work on the project.
“We can’t afford to fail or ask for more. We target at least 90% refining capacity when operational. It must be hitch-free and that is why we are engaging the host communities appropriately. 200 million Nigerians are looking up to us and we can’t afford to fail. We’ve been on this journey since 2019.
In his presentation, the Managing Director of PHRC, Ahmed Dikko, said that the complex has the first and newest government-owned refinery.
He added that Turnaround Maintenance (TAM) was done in 1992, 1994 and 2000.
“Federal Government approved the use of original refinery builders as single bidder for TAM in 2011 but the Presidency approved the change in strategy from ORB to selective bidder in 2020.
“All process plants 1&2 have been made hydrocarbon free ready for plant handover. The cleaning of 10 storage tanks is ongoing, since our waste water treatment has some oil; but they’re being made hydrocarbon-free. The refinery was commissioned in 1965”.
In his contribution, Masu Alberto, the representative of the
contractor, Maire Technimont SPA said that the journey started in 2017 with integrity test of the refinery.
“In 2019, we did work on it and then now.
We’re deploying a good number of engineers. Due to the pandemic, it’s quite challenging deploying people but we have to trudge on”, he said.
He added that the technical building will be refurbished, just as the firefighting and deluge sprinkler systems will be replaced.
He added that 24 offsite tanks will be refurbished.
“The replacement of electrical equipment in substation, primary earthing integration and new lighting system is part of the project.
Other things to be replaced are; 437 pumps, 13 turbines, one expander, two boilers, three, 28 compressor fans and blowers, 29 tanks, 192 vessel and drums, 40 secondary distribution panels, 62 transformers, 1,100 control and shutdown valves, 611 safety relief valves, emergency diesel generators, among others”, he revealed.
The actual cost of the PHRC rehabilitation is $1.299bn. However, when taxes and charges were added, it rose to $1.5 billion. A multi-prong funding strategy is being adopted by the federal government.
The next refinery to be overhauled is Warri and then Kaduna.