26 February 2012, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs.Diezani Alison-Madueke has moved for the convocation of a special stakeholder’s summit to tackle the issues surrounding the nation’s traditional refineries within the next two weeks, to reach a workable framework in line with the Federal Government’s vision for the downstream sector.
Speaking at the end of a working visit to the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC, in Alesa Eleme and the adjoining Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC Depot and product evacuation Jetty in Okrika, the Petroleum Minister stated that the planned retreat would help galvanize and harmonize the various components needed to ensure the smooth operation of the refineries.
“No doubt we have a lot of work to do but going forward within the next two weeks, we shall be having a retreat which would incorporate the perspective of all the various stakeholders including heads of operations of all the refineries, NPDC, PPMC and of course all other stakeholders to fashion out a holistic approach within the period,” Mrs. Alison-Madueke said.
At the PPMC Product evacuation Jetty which is currently undergoing complete reconstruction by an indigenous Nigerian company, Lee Engineering, Mrs. Alison-Madueke commended the company for living out the ideals and spirit behind the Federal Government’s Nigerian Content legislation in the oil and gas industry.
“This is a clear demonstration of Nigerian content in action and I wish to commend the competence and the pioneering spirit of this company,” the Minister stated.
The Minister who also took time out to visit some fuel stations in the Port Harcourt metropolis assured the nation that the Petroleum Ministry is working in concert with the NNPC and all other downstream stakeholders to eradicate the current relative scarcity in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in some parts of the country.
“We are not only interested in restoring sanity in the conventional fuel stations but also working aggressively with the NNPC Retail to ensure that the existing 12 Floating mega stations across the inland waterways of the Niger Delta region become fully operational,” The Minister revealed.
Checks at the NNPC Retail indicate that seven of the Floating Mega stations are in full operation while plans have reached advance stage to re-open the four other stations currently undergoing repairs by April this year. The four stations are located in Burutu and Okerenkoko in Delta State while two others are in Arogbo and Buguma in Ondo and Rivers States respectively.
In his presentation, the Managing Director of PHRC, Engr. Antony Ogbuigwe stated that the management of the refinery has placed orders for the long lead materials and commenced site preparation in good time for the fourth turn around maintenance exercise planned for October 1, to November, 30th 2012.
He informed that the exercise which would include some major rehabilitation work is designed to restore the plant to its name plate capacity.
“PHRC plants have operated now for 12 years without TAM and this has caused the equipment to deteriorate and operate on very low efficiency, unsafe state and may lead to catastrophe if not addressed. This rehabilitation work is designed to check that,” Ogbuigwe said.
It is envisaged that the scope of work would include, clean-out of various pieces of process plants, power plant, oil movement equipment, as well as the inspection of repair of static and rotating equipment in the old and new Port Harcourt refineries among other works.
Comrade Tony Nwoha, Chairman of the Port Harcourt Refinery In-House branch of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, commended the Minister for rising up to the challenge of complete rehabilitation of the traditional refineries.
Comrade Nwoha who spoke on behalf of PENGASSAN and NUPENG appealed to the Petroleum Minister to work towards the restoration of the pipeline right of way which has been seriously encroached upon through the years.