By SEBASTINE OBASI
Houston (Texas)—To enhance and grow indigenous capacity, the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN, said it had entered into agreements with the Nigerian Content Development Board, NCDMB, and the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, to train fresh graduate engineers.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, gave the indication at the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference, OTC, in Houston, Texas.
According to Yakubu, who represented the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, the major thrust of the TAM was to invite the original equipment manufacturers from Japan to undertake the project.
He said: “The turnaround maintenance is actually scheduled for certain interventions that require total shut down of the plants. We are aware that we scheduled the turnaround maintenance of the Port Harcourt refinery for instance.
“A lot has happened in Port Harcourt turnaround initiative. Orders for virtually all the long list of items required for it have been placed. We will soon receive their delivery, and we are also having challenges with equipment manufacturers.
“The major thrust was to invite the original equipment manufacturers to come into the country to do this. Unfortunately, we have challenges. Port Harcourt refinery, for instance, was built by Japan Gasoline Corporation, JGC.
“The company had a challenge of coming to Nigeria, but we have quite some fall back arrangement with their partners, and that constituted a setback.
“We are still talking to them. We are still getting the numbers. We must be happy that the numbers are good enough to back up the turnaround initiatives.
“We do not have to do it at all cost. We have been able to meet the vendor that original equipment manufacturer introduced.”
He explained that the maintenance is supposed to be carried out regularly by NNPC, which has the statutory requirement to maintain and operate the refineries.