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Buhari set to launch $1b pinnacle oil terminal

Pinnacle oil which has the reputation of being the single largest fuel storage facility in the country in terms of volume and market share is set to inaugurate the first offshore subsea petroleum products terminal in Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari will this Saturday launch it after twelve years of the commencement of the construction of its 1.1 billion litre terminal storage facility.

The ultra-modern purpose-built products intake, storage and offtake facility and the bi-directional offshore mooring facility as described by the Group Chief Executive Officer Barr. Peter Mbah, comprises Single-point Mooring (SPM) and the Conventional Buoy Mooring (CBM) facilities with the capacity to receive petroleum products from large vessels and it is accompanied with the largest storage capacity of over one billion litres of product at the maximum.

The Group Chief Executive Officer Pinnacle Oil and Gas, who is equally the Enugu State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections, Dr. Peter Mbah, disclosed in Lagos yesterday, during a media parley with journalists hinted that the president would inaugurate the infrastructure located at the Lekki Free Zone.

Mbah, who said the cost of building such massive disruptive facilities was about $1 billion, revealed that the funding was through a consortium of Nigerian banks.
He said the disruptive facilities were borne out of the company’s desire to address the sub-optmisation and inefficiencies in the downstream sector, which had led to the multiple handlings in receiving products from mother vessels using daughter vessels with attendant cost implications.

This has in effect improved the efficiency of the Nigerian downstream industry by eliminating the need for expensive vessel lightering, reducing the incidence of demurrage for visiting mother vessels, reducing the typical out turn losses which typically occur during lightering operations etc.
All of these have resulted in significant savings for vessels berthing at the terminal as opposed to berthing at any of the other mooring facilities in the Lagos area.
The facility, according to the company, currently comprises 300 million litres of refined petroleum products storage  for Petrol as well as diesel.
It also comprises the CBM facility, an offshore mooring system with 2Nos. 16inch 8km of subsea products pipeline network with a combined discharge flowrate of 1800m3/hr; an SPM facility with 2Nos. 24inch 10km of subsea products pipeline network with combined discharge flowrate of 4,000m3/hr.
The facility equally has the pumps/loading gantries systems with ability to truck out 20 million litres per day among other unique facilities and capabilities useful to the downstream sector.

According to Mbah, Pinnacle controls 23 per cent of the market share, far ahead of the next big competitor that controls about five per cent.

In his words;
“In terms of market leadership, Pinnacle is the market leader in the business to business (B2B) space because we are the largest in terms of volume supplied to businesses, volume supplied to marketers, and we have gained this leadership largely based on the unique infrastructure we have built.
“What we are about to unveil on Saturday is an offshore intake facility. They are actually two offshore intake facilities. One is an SPM that sits at the water depth of 23 meters, that has two cargo pipelines of 24-inch diameter.

“Then we have the CBM -the Conventional Buoy Mooring system. That sits at a water depth of 17 meters and it has two cargo pipelines of 16 diameters,” Mbah stated.
He added, “Currently, the way the operations in the downstream work is that you have these large vessels. Those large vessels would not be able to go to the ports because of the restrictions, because the water channel is not deep enough for those big vessels to go to our ports where you have the storage terminals.

“What typically happens is that those big vessels which we refer to as mother vessels, sit at the anchorage, wait there and then we go with smaller vessels, which we refer to as daughter vessels, and we go and lighter the mother vessels. A typical mother vessel would have a volume of between 80 and 120 million litres.
“And a typical shuttle vessel would do between 15 and 20 million litres. So, for a mother vessel of 80 million litres, the shuttle vessel would need to do a minimum of four voyages, and for each voyage, it takes an average of eight days to move from the port, go to the mother vessel, load 20 million litres and go back to the terminal and discharge. That operation takes eight days to do.”

 “So what eventually we have done is to provide an efficient discharge facility that allows what takes the industry typically 32 days to do, we do in two days. And what that means is that turnaround time is faster. We are able to do more volumes than our competitors.
“That has put us in the leadership of the industry. So prefer to refer to ourselves as master suppliers of the industry. So in terms of most efficient supply facility in the country today, we are number one and there is no other terminal that has an intake facility or what you refer to as receptacle, where you can receive your vessel.

“No terminal in the country and actually in Africa that has that depth of water where you can take mother vessels of 23-meter water depth. So we have that and we are about to commission that this Saturday. It’s going to be commissioned by the president. It’s remarkable in so many ways,”

On the socio-economic importance of those facilities to Nigeria, Dr. Mbah said they would help to ease the massive gridlock being experienced in Apapa and save over N5 billion being lost daily as a result of the traffic.

Adding that those facilities have positioned Pinnacle to play dominant role in the downstream space of the oil and gas industry, Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah also noted that by the virtue of those facilities, pinnacle oil now plays the number one role in terms of movements and supply to the market.

He added;
 “Aside the NNPC, which is our global suppliers, in terms of our core competitors, we are ahead in terms of volume and in terms market share because what takes us two days to do, takes the industry typically more than a month to do. So we are faster in terms of turnaround time and also more efficient.

“Also, beyond the storage capacity, we also have the ability to load more than 20 million litres daily. We have about 22 loading arms. So we can load 22 trucks, within an hour, we could do more than 44 trucks because for the gantry, you will do a tank in less than 30 minutes. You load a truck of about 45,000 litres in less than 30 minutes. So we can comfortably do 20 million litres daily in terms of our evacuation capacity,” 

He explained further that the facilities sit in an open sea and that the distance from the location to the company’s terminal was about 11 kilometres, with total subsea pipeline network of about 40 kilometres.

He added that those facilities have bidirectional capability enabling the company to receive large vessel and also export when Nigeria becomes the next exporter of petroleum products when Dangote Refinery comes on stream.

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