….To relocate crude oil pipelines along Escravos Channel

By Michael Eboh

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, said it would implement the Okpai Phase 2 Project along with its Joint Venture partner, Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC), to boost Nigeria’s current power generating capacity by 500 megawatts.


The NNPC, in two separate statements in Abuja, also stated that it has entered into a partnership with the Nigerian Ports Authority to ensure a seamless reception of petroleum products at the various seaports across the country.

The NNPC added that it would relocate pipelines along the Escravos Channel to pave the way for its dredging so as to ease the movement of ships to the Warri Port.
Commenting on Okpai Phase 2, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, said the project was being fine-tuned to expeditiously bring it on stream, adding that it would increase power generation by between 10 to 12 per cent.

“That is additional 500mw of power that is coming in, provided the transmission is up and going, then we should be able to boost the current power supply to the country by another 10 to 12 per cent of the current generation,” Baru noted, while receiving the new Vice Chairman and Managing Director of NAOC, Fiorillo Lorenzo.

Baru explained that the project, when completed, would impact significantly on economic activities of the country, stressing that once power was available, there would be a lot of improvement in the standard of living of Nigerians.

Also speaking, Lorenzo said his company had a long-standing partnership with Nigeria and NNPC.
“We want to grow and we want to build and develop new opportunities for the country and support the country in its energy journey. We want to try to change and improve the energy mix of the country and the Okpai Project is a testament of this commitment of our company,’ Lorenzo affirmed.

On his part, the outgoing Vice Chairman of NAOC, Massimo Insulla, said the meeting with the GMD was fruitful with the discussion focusing on the opportunities in the Joint Venture (JV) and the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and taking advantage of the oil price condition to bring additional value to the investment in the Nigeria.

‘We have been working for 15 years to implement the Okpai Phase 2 Project which is very important to the NNPC/NAOC JV, and we have been able to find a way to achieve our target with this administration”, Insulla averred.

In another statement on the visit of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, Baru said as part of efforts to introduce efficiency into the maritime operations of the corporation, the NNPC had proposed the establishment of a one-stop-shop at the ports with all agencies relevant to the clearing of petroleum products vessels to reduce delay and demurrage that usually result in under-recovery for the corporation.

He commended the NPA for securing the approval of the Federal Executive Council for the dredging of the Escravos Channel, stressing that the feat would go a long way to buoying economic activities in the area.

He said, “Because of the sheer number of the pipelines and the criticality of some of the petroleum products they carry, we are looking at the timelines that would span 12 months to relocate some of the pipelines. In some of the critical areas, we have agreed that because of supply situations, they would do an initial dredging that would give us at least 10 metres, especially in the Escravos areas.”

He commended the managing director of the NPA for the support extended to the corporation during the last bout of fuel supply hiccups, saying that such inter-agency collaboration was needed for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“The test point for the support of the NPA to NNPC was between December 2017 and February this year because it was really a trying period during the fuel scarcity and the NPA supported us patriotically prompting our coming out of the crisis and it actually helped the nation as well. The MD of NPA was very patriotic, she prioritized ensuring the comfort of the people which, in turn, went a long way in enabling us touched the lives of Nigerians in many positive ways,” Dr. Baru enthused.

In her response, Usman, said the interface with the NNPC was geared towards strengthening collaboration with the corporation, especially in the areas of relocation of pipelines at various locations across the operational areas of the Port Authority.

“We are here to strengthen synergy and collaboration between NPA and NNPC. We are about embarking on dredging activities at Escravos and Ejigbo and there are a lot of pipelines that are buried within that location and so we want to work with NNPC on relocating and burying those pipelines deeper so that NPA can dredge and have a deeper draft for bigger vessels to come to Warri and Lagos to enhance the supply of petroleum products and other larger vessels coming into the country,” Usman affirmed.

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