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Wednesday, 3 September 2014
NRC Awards Contract For Rail Tracks Linking Oil Tank Farms
In an apparent move to intensify haulage of petroleum products from tank farms in Apapa to other parts of the country using the rails, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has awarded contracts for the linking of major tank farms around Apapa Port, Lagos.
The contract, which is awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), will connect the Oando, Total, A-Z Petroleum, Forte Oil tank farms and Lilypond Port among others to the railway grid and will be completed in three months.
The corporation is also currently changing the rail system from 60 to 85 poundage to carry heavier load, as the line going to the Apapa Wharf is currently under rehabilitation.
“The passenger rail is currently being used for cargo evacuation. We are still maintaining the narrow gauge until the standard gauge is built. For now, ICNL and the Flour Mills of Nigeria are our major customers,” NRC’s director for mechanical/electrical signal and telecommunication, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, told journalists after a tour of the infrastructure yesterday.
“Tracks will be laid into the tank farms to avoid double handling. Traditionally, the companies are supposed to link up their premises with rail tracks, but due to the priority that the government places on rail transport, it has gone the extra mile of doing this, as it seeks to meet up with the standard globally,” said Okhiria, who held brief for the corporation’s managing director, Engr Adeseyi Sijuwade.
He noted that at the completion of the project and the rehabilitation of the sidelines, those oil companies on railway facilities would have no excuse to haul their products by road.
The train currently moves 900,000 litres of diesel a trip and could repeat the trip three times in a month, according to the director of operations, Mr. Niyi Alli, who was also on the tour of the rail facilities in Apapa yesterday.
Alli said the train also makes four trips of 600 tons of wheat from the Nigeria Flour Mills in Apapa to Kano in a month. “This is a load for 20 trailers, with each wagon taking 35,000 tons and there are 17 wagons moved. We are now targeting to go to Kano and come back within eight days.”