Seventy-eight (78) companies submitted virtual bids to rehabilitate critical downstream pipelines, associated depots and terminal infrastructure of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through the Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT), the company reports.
On bid are 5,120 kilometres of pipelines, traversing the entire country, with two coastal depots in Lagos, in the west and Calabar in the east.
The pipelines have been subjected to many cycles of vandalism for scores of years, and the depots have suffered from poor maintenance. There are 17 other depots around the country, all of them linked to the pipeline network, but they are not up for bid.
The losses from vandalized pipelines and rusted depots have manifested as a “fuel tanker crisis” in the country, as fuel laden tankers, playing the role of virtual pipelines, clog the highways and render the routes to the Lagos port difficult to access. As the losses have been charged to the National Treasury, the state hydrocarbon firm has frequently faced strident criticism for not privatizing these facilities. NNPC has, however, always resisted any sale of its equity in any asset, let alone go the full hug of privatization.
Those who win the bids “will fund these pipelines, they will construct them, they will operate them with us and then ultimately they will fully recover their investment from the tariff which we will pay for using these pipelines and as soon as they recover their cost and their margin, they will hand over these assets back to us,” declared Mele Kolo Kyari, NNPC’s Group Managing Director.
The final partners of the bid opening will be selected by the end of the first quarter of 2021, Kyari explained.