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FG approves $80m for repair of refineries

Posted by By JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2007/12/06 | Views: 414 |

FG approves $80m for repair of refineries


With the provision of $80 million to carry out the repairs and maintenance of the nation’s four refineries, two of which, are expected to come on stream in January and February next year. They are Warri and Kaduna refineries.

With the provision of $80 million to carry out the repairs and maintenance of the nation’s four refineries, two of which, are expected to come on stream in January and February next year. They are Warri and Kaduna refineries.

The approval, according to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Abubakar Yar’Adua, would prevent total break down of the refineries and re-launch Nigeria back to the era of domestic refinery of crude oil.
He, however, warned against frequent intervention by government in the running of the NNPC, saying that to get approval to spend money, he had five committees to pass through before getting the president to give final approval.

“It takes between nine months to one year before any MD can get approval for any repair and it is the policy. There is too much interference from government officials, they force you to issue LPO and even tell you the value. Nigeria must know that every kobo in that refinery belongs to us all and not few individuals and we must ensure that we do the right thing,” he warned.

Yar’Adua, told the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Down stream) that the Federal Government has approved all the projects to go ahead in 2008, as the refineries will need only the mandatory 18 – 24 months before repairs are carried out.
“We hope to get response that the government should allow us do the work that is expected of us. Kaduna had the last TAM in 1996 and now we are in 2007. Government approved the TAM two weeks ago and materials have been purchased.

“On the state of Warri refinery, the contract for the Shanomi Creek Pipeline has been reviewed and taken away from the expatriates and an agreement reached with the contractors from the local communities and they are capable of maintaining it. I must confirm to you that the place is 80 per cent ready and handover will be done on December 21,” he said.

He told the committee that the test run would be done, so that water that is being used to test run the pipelines and thereafter drained for the crude to be introduced.

“By December ending, Warri will have crude stock, crude will be made available and in the first week of January, it will start functioning. It will be the New Year message. That we intend to start pumping to Kaduna and it will take 2 – 3 weeks. By February, Kaduna which is worth over N41.84 billion will be up and doing,” he assured.

The GMD confirmed that the work at the Shanomi pipeline was stretched due to the fact that after the initial work on the 28 holes, it was discovered to have been blown with Dynamite and the contractors found another 21 holes which slowed down the pace of work, while negotiation with the local communities to allow access to the areas and negotiate for work took another one year.

He explained that the Japanese, who were undertaking the repairs of the compressors for both the Warri and Kaduna Refineries after concluding the repairs refused to return to Nigeria to fix it due to the fear of being kidnapped by the militants.

However, he confirmed that two Nigerians have been dispatched to the company in Osaka Japan to understudy the people and return next week to fix the equipment.
Further more, he assured the Committee led by Honourable Clever Ikisipko that the FCC unit of the two refineries would be running at about 80 – 90 per cent by the second week of February, while the officials who were available to brief the House on Warri said that “within the last two months, we have been working to receive crude. We are ready to receive and pump to Kaduna, we are confident that as soon as the crude is ready, we will take it and process it. We won’t let Nigerians down”

It was also confirmed that though, Kaduna had been idle for four years, staff were retained to do the instruments check, which pointed to the fact that starting from early February, work will start fully.
He however warned that the refineries would be shut down next year for TAM, noting that people should not be surprised to note that few months after opening, the refineries would be shut again.
The PPMC officials on the other hand disclosed that the challenge facing the organisation was beyond the repairs of the pipeline, but to make sure that the pipelines were secured.

“We have to use gunboats. If you don’t have gunboats, you can’t go on that terrain. We are going to check the pipelines from Warri – Benin – Suleja and further down,” they noted and called on the National Assembly to enact laws for the policing of over 5000 kilometres.

Clever Ikisikpo who appreciated the problems of the NNPC however told the corporation’s boss that “we can’t continue to import products when we have it here. You can’t unbundle the NNPC because you need an act to do that. Government must go through the National Assembly and am sure that they are thinking about that now”

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