Recently the Liberia Petroleum and Refining Company (LPRC) and a UAE Based Company, LUTECH Engineering and Project Management Consultants sealed a US$21 million deal for the modernization and expansion of the Petroleum Storage Terminal (PST) on Bushrod Island.
Under the deal, LUTECH Engineering and Project Management Consultants would construct a two tons truck weight bridges and a new semi-automation system and safety solution.
The UAE firm is also expected to construct a central control room, new operations building and increased storage capacity and as well expand loading gantry fitted for nine loading areas.
LUTECH Engineering and Project Management Consultants would also demolish and reconstruct six old storage tanks with increased storage capacity.
The company would also construct four new product discharge lines and a new tank farm piping network for product receipt and discharge as well as the construction of two service tanks including a fire water and slop tank.
LPRC Managing Director Sumo Kupee said the rehabilitation of the Petroleum Storage Terminal is necessary because the current facility has outlived its usefulness.
Kupee disclosed that the facility was constructed about 70 years ago and noted that there has been any structural repair work on the PST for about 30 years now.
“Although there has been intermittence maintenance work but in term of structural repair it hasn’t happen for the last 30 years this has pose security risk, which is why government decided that the repair of this facility is a national priority,” Kupee said.
He said the commencement of the rehabilitation work had hurdle due to a lawsuit filed by some firm that participated in the biding process.
Mr. Kupee disclosed that following about nine months of legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the LPRC.
He has asked LPRC to proceed with the contract and requested the contracting firm to include local firm in the rehabilitation as required by the contract.
The LPRC MD lauded the Board of Directors of LPRC and its technical staff for standing with management while the matter was in court.
LUTECH Managing Director Vijay Anand Krishana expressed his company ability to deliver.
Some Liberians who heard and witnessed the signing of this contract considered it as similar under previous management teams aimed at performing the very services outlined by the LUTECH, are also wondering as to what actually went wrong in previous contract signed.
Our investigation also revealed that during the tenure of some Managing Directors of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), and now a lawmaker in the House of Representatives similar contract was signed in the amount of over US$22.4 million with the Motherwll Bride under the same agreement; modernization and expansion of the Petroleum Storage Terminal (PST) on Bushrod Island.
Also during the tenure of the late Harry Grieves and Mr. T. Nelson Williams as Managing Directors of the LPRC respectively, funds were also provided to undertake similar projects including the building of tanks and others aimed at giving a facelift to the LPRC facilities in order to increase revenue and strengthen the position and image of the company.
The questions that flips the lips of many Liberians is what has been the outcome of previous renovations on the facilities of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) including the building of tanks and others with the payments of millions of United States Dollars to contractors.
Efforts applied by our staff to get to the head of the Public Relations department to speak on this issue proved unsuccessful as his mobile phone rang endlessly.