$1.5b for PH refinery justifiable, says NNPC
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has described the recently approved rehabilitation exercise of the 210,000 barrels per day capacity Port Harcourt Refinery as a worthy undertaking following diligent consideration and in strict adherence to industry best standards.
Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, made this in a statement on Tuesday.
According to him, Kyari, who spoke in Abuja, stated that in arriving at the decision to award the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract to Tecnimont spA. of Milan, Italy, after a competitive bidding process, the Corporation observed an unprecedented level of transparency and due diligence which consists of a governance structure and tender process that included key independent external stakeholders.
They include Ministry of Finance, Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
He explained in terms of outlook and job scoping, the rehabilitation project is different from the routine Turn-Around Maintenance, which was last carried out on the Port Harcourt Refinery 21 years ago.
Kyari explained that unlike TAM which should normally be executed every two years but was neglected for many years, the rehabilitation project would involve comprehensive repairs of the plant with significant replacement of critical equipment and long lead items to ensure the integrity of the plant on the long term.
On the financing for the project, the NNPC helmsman said that African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), as a reliable lender, has agreed to raise $1billion towards the rehabilitation project.
He argued that a credible and capable lender like Afreximbank would never agree to put such huge amount of money where there would be no value.