The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Thursday, officially flagged off the rehabilitation of the 180,000b/pd Port Harcourt refineries with the completion date set for 44 months.
The rehabilitation which will cost the country $1.5-billion has been programmed in three phases beginning from the 60,000 b/pd old refineries after which work would commence on the new 120,000 b/pd refinery.
The $1.5-billion project which was signed into contract on April 6, 2021, commenced, on Thursday, at the Refinery in Eleme, following the technical meeting with stakeholders involved in the project process.
Speaking at the Kick-off meeting which marks the handover of the facility to the contractors, Tecnimont SpA, for engineering and installation works, Mustapha Yakubu, Chief Operating Officer, (COO) Refineries, said that the project is scheduled in three strata, adding that the 1st phase will last for about 24months.
He said; “The schedule is in three strata for 24 months which is for the old Port Harcourt Refinery and we begin to run the refinery while other works will start at the new refinery and which will last for a maximum of 44 months.
“Today is a technical takeoff meeting and what that means is that it signifies the start of the project. Starting from today we will be having a progress report. The idea is to have team alignment about the project objective and project scopes. To also have an understanding of the stakeholders’ expectations.
“This job is going to create a lot of opportunities for our local communities and as at kick we are going have about 3000 personnel working here and out of that number the expectation is that the number of expatriates should be about 70per cent and when you put 70 over 3000 you are talking about 45per cent.
“By our project schedule, the project will be in three phases because we have the old refinery here with 60, 000 (sixty thousand) capacity and then the bigger one is 120, 000. So is segmented into three phases. We have started and approximately it will last up to 44 months.”
Also speaking, Engr Ahmed Dikko, Managing Director, Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC disclosed that if completed at the phase, the refinery will be producing about 11.5million litres of products on daily basis adding that that volume would satisfy the environmental demands and beyond.
Dikko also noted the involvement of host communities would be made partners in the exercise to ensure a peaceful environment stressing that all arrangements for smooth and successful product delivery.
He said, “We have fully commenced with the project with the stakeholders meeting. We don’t just want the contractor to provide employment but that they should participate in the project, hence the meeting.
“We will partner together with the contractor, satisfy these communities engagement in the way that we will have a peaceful project completion.
“We have already done so many activities, we have had town hall meetings with the communities, we have gone to visit the Local Government chairmen.
“I personally will be visiting the local chief of the communities very shortly, all in a manner to have this soft landing, manage expectations make sure that every person is on-board so that we can deliver the project.”
“When the project is completed we will have a lot of products use in Nigeria produced in this Refinery and is close to 11.5million litres churned out from this facility, that is enough to satisfy this environment and beyond.”
He also said that the project will create a lot of job opportunities especially as it affects the host communities.
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