The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has signed a contract with a Milan-based company, Tecnimont SpA, for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery Company in Alesa-Eleme, Rivers state.
The Federal Executive Council had earlier approved the sum of $1.5 billion (about N570 billion) for the project which has a completion timeline of between 18 and 44 months under a three-phase arrangement.
Speaking during the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract signing ceremony on Tuesday, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari said, “Mr President promised Nigerians he will fix the refineries.”
Kyari also assured that the same transparent process has been put in place for the rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna Refineries whose EPCIC contracts would be awarded in June 2021.
He said: “We are happy to deliver on this presidential mandate. We’ll continue this process to also deliver on both Warri and Kaduna Refineries.
“I can confirm to you that nobody has been delegated by anybody in this company to work for (the interest of) anyone other than the mandate of delivering on this rehabilitation project.”
The Managing Director of PHRC, Ahmed Dikko, signed the contract paper for his company while the Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa, Davide Pellizola, signed on behalf of Tecnimont SpA.
Dikko explained that Phases 1 and 2 of the project would get the refinery ready to receive hydrocarbons, while Phase 3 will focus on the start-up of the refinery for operation, stressing that the entire work shall be delivered in 44 months from today.
Pelizzola pledged the readiness of his company to work assiduously with the NNPC to comply with the terms and obligations of the contract.
In its first-ever audited accounts and financial statements released in 2020, NNPC said three of Nigeria’s four refineries gulped N1.64 trillion in cumulative losses recorded in their operations since 2014.
The refineries have a combined production capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (BPD).
PHRC alone, which is set for repairs, has a capacity of 210,000bpd; Kaduna Refinery has 10,000bpd capacity, and Warri Refinery has 125,000bpd.
The repair of the refinery had earlier sparked outrage, with critics stating that such would only amount to waste of resources amid the country’s struggling economy.