The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it would relocate pipelines along the Escravos channel to pave the way for the dredging in Warri Port so as to ease the movement of ships.
This commitment was made during the visit of Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to Maikanti Baru, group managing director of NNPC at the NNPC Towers in Abuja Tuesday.
The Escravos–Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) is a natural gas pipeline built in 1989 to supply gas from Escravos region of Niger Delta area to Egbin power station near Lagos in Nigeria.
In a statement by Ndu Ughamadu, group general manager, group public affairs division, Baru said 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.
“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 stated.
He 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.
The NNPC helmsman commended the MD of NPA 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 said.
In her response,Hadiza Bala 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,” Hajia Usman affirmed.