NNPC Seeks Partner for Port Harcourt Refinery Operations and Maintenance

Revitalizing Nigerian Refinery: NNPC Seeks Expert Partner for Port Harcourt Operations

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has issued a tender to find a partner for operations and maintenance work at the Port Harcourt Refinery.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is actively seeking a suitable partner to provide operations and maintenance (O&M) services for the Port Harcourt Refinery. This initiative is a crucial step in ensuring the reliability and sustainability of the refinery’s operations to meet the ever-growing fuel demand in Nigeria.

The Port Harcourt Refinery complex comprises two refineries, with a combined daily capacity of 210,000 barrels. NNPC’s goal with this tender is to identify a credible O&M company that can contribute to the efficient functioning of these refineries.

The responsibilities of the selected O&M contractor will encompass various aspects of refinery operations, including long and short-term planning, execution of day-to-day operations, monitoring, inspections, environmental management, and turnaround maintenance.

To be eligible for consideration, interested companies must meet specific requirements outlined by NNPC. These prerequisites include demonstrating an average annual turnover of at least $2 billion per year for the period spanning from 2019 to 2022. Additionally, contractors are expected to have prior experience in refinery operations, including expertise in fluid catalytic cracking, conversion units, commissioning, and turnaround work.

Furthermore, NNPC stipulates that bidding companies should furnish evidence of their O&M or engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) track record in Nigeria, along with examples from other African projects. Each bidder is required to complete a registration form by January 29, with the final submission of documents scheduled for February 26. The bids will be opened during a livestream ceremony.

NNPC achieved a significant milestone at the Port Harcourt Refinery on December 21, marking the completion of the first phase of work in Area 5. This accomplishment aligns with NNPC’s commitment to reach this stage by the end of 2023. According to Mele Kyari, the Head of NNPC, the project will deliver substantial value to Nigerians. With the completion of the initial phase, NNPC aims to have the other refinery plants operational by 2024.

Notably, in 2021, NNPC selected Italy’s Tecnimont for the Port Harcourt refinery rehabilitation, a project valued at $1.5 billion. At that time, NNPC expressed its intention to explore a different operational model, including engaging contractors for O&M services at the refinery. This approach is expected to enhance efficiency and sustainability in Nigeria’s refining sector.

Despite NNPC’s declaration of success at Port Harcourt, there have been reports indicating that the first-phase work may not have been fully completed. A source within NNPC was quoted as stating that the refinery might not produce any products in the foreseeable future due to incomplete rehabilitation work, contradicting NNPC’s earlier announcement.

The partnership with a capable O&M company is expected to play a pivotal role in addressing these challenges and ensuring the refinery’s long-term viability in meeting Nigeria’s fuel needs.

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