…Shops Joint Venture partners for refineries
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday declared intention to further split one of its market supply unit, Pipeline and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC), into three separate companies. Besides, the Nigerian military forces would now take responsibility for pipeline surveillance, repairs and protection across the country.
The corporation also ruled out sale of its three refineries which are currently undergoing phased rehabilitation and reactivation, saying it would explore reputable joint venture partners in running public sector investments in local refining.
The declarations which were made by the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, during a tour of NNPC’s formations in Rivers Stated coincided with a separate announcement by Shell that it has lifted force majeur on Nigerian crude oil export.
In a statement yesterday, spokesman of NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, said the decision to create three separate firms from PPMC was in a bid to ensure lean, efficient and profitable operations.
Dr. Kachikwu who spoke during an official tour of the Okrika Jetty and the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited yesterday said PPMC would be split into a pipelines company that would focus primarily on the maintenance of the over five thousand kilometers pipelines of the Corporation; a storage company that would maintain all the over 23 depots; and a products marketing company that would market and sell petroleum products.
He explained that the measure would ensure that the right set of skills are rightly positioned and the number of leakages in terms of pipelines break and products loss are reduced to the barest minimum. He also noted that the ongoing phased rehabilitation of all the state owned refineries would be accelerated in order to displace some daily import of 20 million litres of petrol.
Dr. Kachikwu ruled out outright sale of the refineries but said government would explore reputable joint venture partners to boost efficiency at the plants.
He disclosed plans to fix all the petroleum industry pipelines across the country, stressing that the Nigerian Airforce would be engaged to provide aerial survey of the pipelines, the Nigerian Army Engineering corps to fix and police the pipelines and the Nigerian Navy to provide marine surveillance for the network of pipelines.