Technical experts to determine true state of Warri refinery

Dec 11, 2003 01:00 AM

The preliminary report on the Warri refinery has shown that it is nothing but a scrap that no investor is ready to put his money into it. The situation is further compounded by the incessant communal crises in the Niger Delta region.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr Julius J. Bala, at an interactive section with Business Editors in Abuja said studies were being conducted by technical experts on the refineries to determine their true state.

The technical report on the state of the Warri refinery, he said, showed that it was in a bad state and that experts felt that the refinery had better be scrapped. Dr Bala said of the four refineries, only that of Port Harcourt was in some level of good condition.
He said it would require a lot of funds to put them in working condition. Government, he said, could not afford such expenditure now, hence the need to sell them to private operators who will be in a better position to manage them. Dr Bala said the Port Harcourt refinery would be privatised before the end of the first quarter of 2004.

On the port reforms, Bala said a review of the national policy on ports services was being carried out and in conformity with Nigeria's national aspiration, adding that the drafting of a new legislation that would harmonise and streamline the activities of all agencies in the marine sector in line with world best practice would be undertaken.
According to him, this will include review and modernising the role of the NPA towards converting it from port services provider to port landlord agent. This, he said, will include the unbundling of the existing NPA into various autonomous zonal landlord ports and establishing an apex regulator for the subsector.

Dr Bala further said the concessionable services would include cargo loading and off-loading services; provision of temporary storage and security; ship repairs and maintenance services, bunkering (water and fuel), chandelling etc.
He said the BPE had concluded negotiation with CPCS Transcom consortium as privatisation adviser on the ports.

Source: Vanguard
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