The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Tuesday, said it would relocate pipelines along the Escravos Channel to pave the way for the dredging of the waterway to ease the movement of ships to the Warri Port and boost fuel supply across the country.
According to a statement in Abuja, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, stated this during the visit of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, to the NNPC.
Baru 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.”
Baru also noted that the NNPC and the NPA had agreed to ensure seamless reception of petroleum products into the various ports across the country.
He added that 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 Usman 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,” Baru enthused.
In her remarks, 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.