Negative public opinion notwithstanding, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has signed an Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) contract with Tecnimont SpA, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont.
The project is for the rehabilitation of 210,000 barrels per day Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).
There has been a groundswell of opinion that using $1.5 billion to rehabilitate a refinery notorious for falling short of expectations in these hard times was wasteful.
Meanwhile, in Kaduna, the refinery appears moribund amid revelations that NNPC has began the process of selling of assets, beginning with quarters to staff. For nearly seven years, the refinery has not produced refined petroleum products, while the overhead and maintenance costs continue to recur in appropriations. Meanwhile, assets there continue to rust away.
On its Twitter handle on Tuesday, the NNPC said, “Signing Ceremony of Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) Contract for the Rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refining Company (#PHRC) between @NNPCgroup and Tecnimont SpA.”
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, said, “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.
“Mr President promised Nigerians he’ll fix the refineries. We’re happy to deliver on this Presidential mandate. We’ll continue this process to also deliver on both Warri & Kaduna Refineries.”