By Prince Okafor
Amidst growing doubts in some quarters that the ongoing rehabilitation work at the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC, will not produce any meaningful result, the Company’s Managing Director, Ahmed Dikko, has assured that he would deliver a fully rehabilitated, functional refinery to Nigerians in record time.
Recall that the rehabilitation work on PHRC commenced with the approval of $1.5 billion by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, followed by the signing of an agreement with the EPC contractors, Maire Tecnimont SpA, and the kick-off meeting held in Port Harcourt, recently.
Dikko, in a chat with Energy Vanguard, stressed that the rehabilitation project would be completed and delivered on schedule, starting with the Old Port Harcourt Refinery. He insisted that he and his team would change the narrative by delivering a working refinery.
To ensure that he walks his talk, the PHRC boss has ensured that every staff of the company, no matter the department, as well as the host communities, is adequately carried along as the rehabilitation work progresses.
He said: “Host communities’ engagement is one of the key priorities for the success of this project and PHRC management recognizes this right from the earlier days of the award of this contract and has done a lot in this regard through the Public Affairs. The first is to put out the information correctly about this project, and the second is to manage the expectations of the communities.
“The approach that we are using is to get the communities to buy into the project and be part of it. So much has been covered and I’m delighted with the way we are going.
“We are going to have the support of the communities. The contractors themselves have nominated a community representative that is working closely with our public affairs team in the manner to ensure that the right information is given to the communities.”
On the role of PHRC’s staff towards the successful completion of the project, Dikko continued: “Everybody is part of the rehabilitation project, and in whatever department you are, you must contribute your own to make sure that we truly succeed.
“Whether you are in the human resources, engineering, or admin department; there is a role for you in the project, and I’m happy that the staff have taken it on, and are looking forward to the actual commencement of activities physically.
“We have gone further again to keep knowledge sharing so that everybody will understand clearly what the project is about, and also the scope of work that we want to do. That way, we’ll have a role to play as it goes on.”
Dikko has also assured that all the processing plants and tanks have been made hydrocarbon-free and parts of the plants have been handed over to the contractors to commence work.
“All the process plants (Fuel plants 1 & 2), power plant and utilities, and jetty have been made hydrocarbon-free in readiness for plant hand-over. The cleaning of 10 outstanding storage tanks offsite is in progress while wastewater treatment is still receiving all the waste coming out of the plant”, he explained.
On what the company is doing to ensure that the contractors deliver on their promises, the MD said: “We have provided tons of reliable information which is required by the contractors to base their activities on.
“It is not a small thing knowing full well that all specs of all the equipment and everything therein that will make the contractor succeed have to be given; all the documentation that we have. So we have done that; we’ve given thousands of documents to the contractor.”