NNPC Weekly: NNPC intensifies efforts to end fuel importation

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Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) started its activities for the week with a tour of the Port Harcourt Refinery, to ascertain the level of ongoing rehabilitation of the plant.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and members of Board of Directors, NNPC Ltd. who were also on the tour expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the refinery site in, Rivers State.

Sylva who was elated at the level of progress recorded on the project, said he was particularly impressed with the high sense of time management exhibited by the project team.

He said that the Federal Government was interested in the prompt delivery of the project to achieve energy security for Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of the Board members, the Chairman of the NNPC Board, Sen. Margery Chuba-Okadigbo, pointed out that the rehabilitation was aimed at boosting in-country refining capacity and cost reduction.

Chuba-Okadigbo said that the rehabilitation also signals the company’s intention to exit from petroleum products importation and associated challenges of foreign exchange issues, adding that she was impressed by the quality of work done so far.

On his part, the Group Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd., Malam Mele Kyari explained that the project was uniquely designed with efficiency and sustainable maintenance culture in mind to enable the refinery generate funds.

Port-Harcourt-refinery

He assured that the whole process was well-thought-out and will enable the company to introduce a new business model for the operation of the refinery.

Earlier in his technical report to the visiting team, the Managing Director of the PHRC, Mr Ahmed Dikko stated that the company was determined to deliver on the mandate by all means.

He acknowledged the support of the NNPC leadership, its Board, the National Assembly and other stakeholders towards achieving the current milestones.

Dikko emphasised that the progress made so far could not have been possible without their cooperation and timely approvals.

Project Manager, who spoke on behalf of the contractor handling the rehabilitation, Tecnimont SpA, Mr Davide Broggini, said they would deliver the project in record time.

The visit saw the tour of areas one, two and three of the refinery that housed some major plants including, crude distillation and vacuum units.

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Other plants visited were the naphtha hydro-treating unit, catalytic reform and kero hydro-treating units, fluid catalytic cracking and gas unit, and gas treatment and merox units.

It is expected that the PHRC, which comprised of the old and new refineries with a combined refining capacity of 210,000bpsd, would commence partial operation from the first quarter of 2023 by processing 60,000 barrels per stream day into the market.

The refinery would commence full operation on completion of the rehabilitation project scheduled for the last quarter of 2024.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives said it was committed to ensuring that the new NNPC Ltd. took off on a solid foundation without any encumbrance from the old NNPC.

This was said by the House of Representative Ad-hoc Committee set up to investigate the inventory, assets, liabilities and joint ventures of the old NNPC during an oversight visit.

The visit was to the Frontier Exploration Services Division of the NNPC and the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) recently.

Speaking during the visit, Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Uju Chima, said the exercise was not a probe but a measure intended to help the new NNPC Ltd. to take off on a solid footing.

He explained that the Committee’s duty was to ascertain the assets of the old NNPC and ensure that those that were supposed to be transferred to the new entity, as envisioned in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), were properly documented.

“We are only here to help you ascertain those assets in order to make sure that valuable assets that are supposed to be transferred or reverted to NNPC Ltd. are not left out and at the same time to help you ascertain the value of those assets”.

He said the exercise was not only focusing on assets but also on liabilities.

The committee chairman demanded information on the total worth of PHRC’s houses, assets, monetary value of liabilities and total amount expended so far on the rehabilitation of the plants.

Chima urged NNPC to sustain the tempo to ensure that the target for the completion of the rehabilitation was not missed.

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In his response, the Managing Director of PHRC, Mr Ahmed Dikko commended the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, for their support for PHRC.

He said the visit of the committee demonstrated support, not only for the PHRC, but for the NNPC Ltd.

“This support, we hope, will translate to overall success of the rehabilitation for the benefit of Nigerians in view of the current energy crisis”.

Dikko assured the committee that the job would be delivered on time and to specification, stressing that efforts were already at an advanced stage to introduce an Operations and Maintenance model to guarantee maintenance of the refinery.

Earlier in a similar visit to the Frontier Exploration Services Division of NNPC in Abuja, the Committee sought to know the activities of the Division and its assets and liabilities

The Chairman of the Committee said they were interested in the sustainability mechanisms which the Frontier Exploration Services Division had put in place for the transition.

The Group General Manager, Frontier Exploration Services Division, Mr Abdullahi Bomai, took the lawmakers through the operations of the division, explaining that the division was in the business of deploying high standard technology for seismic data collection.

He said that the seismic data collected in the course of the division’s operations were part of NNPC’s assets.

On the liabilities of the division, Bomai said there was need for the upgrade of technology to enable it scale up its capacity and expressed hope that the provision of 30 per cent exploration fund in the PIA would be able to help address the challenge.

The Ad-hoc committee at the end of the visit expressed confidence in the ability of NNPC to implement a successful transition to a limited liability company.

Also in the week, the NNPC said it would deliver the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Pipeline Project (AKK) on schedule with the first gas to be delivered in the first quarter of year 2023.

Speaking at the project site at Abaji, Abuja, during a tour of the project, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, said efforts were on to ensure that the project was completed on schedule.

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He stated that a critical deliverable of the AKK project was the injection of over eight billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas injected into the domestic pipeline to revive the moribund industries.

Kyari said it would also open up economic opportunities for the country.

He described the AKK Gas Pipeline as a signature project and hinted that it was time for Nigeria to take advantage of its gas reserve in Africa to develop its economy.

“There is no country that has access to this volume of gas that did not develop”.

In her remarks, the Chairman of the NNPC Board, Sen. Margery Chuba-Okadigbo, expressed optimism that the project could deliver its first gas by the first quarter of 2023 based on the magnitude of work done so far.

She noted that the country could leverage on the Russia-Ukraine situation to provide solution to the global gas supply challenge.

NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, Board Chairman, Sen. Margery Okadigbo, other officials at AKK pipeline gas project inspection in Abaji

NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, Board Chairman, Sen. Margery Okadigbo, other officials at AKK pipeline gas project inspection in Abaji

On the feasibility of achieving the 2023 target, the Chairman of Oilserv, the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for the project, Mr Emeka Okwuosa, confirmed his company’s readiness to deliver the project on schedule.

He said NNPC’s interventions at various periods of challenge helped in getting the job to the current appreciable level.

He also assured that the project managers and teams were more than competent to deliver the project within record time.

Also speaking at the KP 171 Welding Site during the tour, the Managing Director of the Oilserv, Mr Chigozie Obi, and General Manager, AKK Project, NNPC, Mr Barwa Muhammed, explained that apart from deployment of modern technologies that guarantee durability, the project had great economic effects for the nation.

The construction of the 614km AKK Pipeline project was flagged-off simultaneously in Kogi and Kaduna states by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020 to encourage gas utilisation and serve as a springboard for the nation’s industrialisation.