The federal government has budgeted N94.2 billion for the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company (WRPC).
The TAM, which is part of measures to curtail petroleum products importation, is expected to last between 24 to 36 months with an upgrade for long term operative plan of 50 years.
The Acting Managing Director of WRPC, Mr. Samuel Babatunde, made this known to the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on an oversight tour of the facility at the weekend.
A similar TAM is being planned for the Port Harcourt refinery at $463 million, which is scheduled to commence in October with the commissioning date put at December 2012.
In his presentation to the Senator Magnus Abe-led committee, Babatunde, who also doubles as the Executive, said that the original builder of the Warri refinery, Saipem, has been selected as the contractor to handle the rehabilitation of the refinery.
"The $600 million figure is not sacrosanct; it's a rough estimate. It's just an estimated value," adding that there is a "two to three year programme to rehabilitate all the refineries in the country."
Major challenges confronting the WRPC, according to Babatunde, are vandalisation of its pipelines and crude oil theft from Escravos.
"We are victims of pipeline vandalisation and disruptions...There is a running battle to keep our plants running at even 25 per cent; it's a directive from Abuja."
On disruptions of crude oil supply to the WRPC, Babatunde said: "Only 40-50 per cent crude pumped from Escravos gets to the WRPC. The remaining are vandalised.
"In fact, in less than 30 minutes of pumping crude from Escravos, there is a disruption in the system...The refineries are in a terrible state of disrepair but some works are in progress."
Copyright 2012 AllAfrica Global Media. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published April 3, 2012, in Leadership.)