There are strong indications that the Federal Government is considering using the expansive tank farm which belong to Integrated Oil and Gas Company in its bid to arrest the debilitating fuel supply situation in the country.
This hint was given last week in Lagos by the minister of state for petroleum Mr. Odein Ajumogobia while inspecting the facilities located at the popular Ibafon, Apapa in Lagos.
He expressed satisfaction with what he saw and disclosed government’s readiness to use the company as a throughput facility for the discharge of petroleum products.
Apparently impressed, the minister said: “it’s impressive and it will certainly be a facility that will assist us in distributing fuel in the Lagos area and beyond”
“They have a quite large capacity, there is also a new investment going on to build more and we will use these capacities. I have seen the tanks; I have seen what they can do, so now we are going to sit and ensure lasting solutions”
The minister who was accompanied by, Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Billy Agah however lamented that “it is a shame that a country that produces crude oil in the quantities we do can not distribute refined product” even as he admitted that government is yet to have its hands on a permanent solution.
Responding to the gesture of the minister, the Chief Executive officer of Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho expressed readiness of the company to fully collaborate with the government, saying that “we have always wondered why we have not been participating in the distribution of PMS because our facility have been inspected by the NNPC more than six months ago, we have already signed an agreement with the NNPC in regards to the use of our depot for distribution of products”
Ihenacho consequently assured the minister that his company is “ready and keen to participate in this distribution exercise, we have the facilities and we are prepared just like any one else to ensure that product is available”.
Explaining further, he said that with the completion of its new storage tanks, the depot has total capacity to store up to 83 million liters of product and that it has been dispatching not less than 100 trucks of petroleum product per day. He said that with the newly installed gantry, it will be dispatching up to 300 trucks of product per day.
Captain Ihenacho explained further that Integrated has also “embarked upon a programme to rapidly develop the number of outlets that we have so we can then have a trading philosophy on the saying ‘from the refinery into the consumer’s tank’.
“If we manage our logistics, a foreign vessel for instance supplying us with PMS; we will so time the arrival of that vessel viz a viz the time that our own STS vessel will rendezvous with it so that within the 72-hour period that is usually given, we will have along-sided it, taken the product and we will have zero demurrage”, he said.
In addition to this, Ihenacho said that the company has invested another N70million to fix a floating roof inside the PMS tanks; he said that this is to ensure that there is no leakage, over flowing or evaporation of product. The investment according to him is also to reduce the chances of explosions and building up of dangerous gasses in the spaces between the top of the liquid and the top of the tank.