The last may not have been heard about the controversies surrounding the multi-billion dollar contract for the maintenance of Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC’s OBOB/Kwale/Ebocha gas plant.
Indeed, Agip and the indigenous oil service company, Arco Petrochemical Engineering Company Plc, among others, have continued to lock horns on the need to follow due process in the approval of the contract, while the cost of the project remains a bone of contention.
The price variation of about $77million per year has been another source of worry to the aggrieved party, which estimated that this sum translated to an excess charge of $231million since January 2012.
It was alleged that Platgeria had submitted a $10million bid, where GE had been executing the same job for $87million, indicating a price parity of $77 million. Meanwhile, Arco had offered to carry out the same maintenance for six months at the rate of $37million per year.
The gas plant is reputed as the Eastern hub for gas supply in Nigeria, since the plat supplies gas to the Nigeria LNG, Eleme Petrochemicals and the Omoku power plants.
Already, Agip is being accused of flouting court order to maintain status quo on the contentious interim contract for the maintenance of Agip’s OBOB/Kwale/Ebocha gas plant, pending the award of substantive contract for a four – year contract by the NNPC/Agip joint venture.
The Italian company also allegedly took advantage of a leeway in venture agreements to unilaterally offer the job to Platgeria Company Limited, even when the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC had not met to approve the new contract.