Senate Committee Gets Insight On LPRC
The Senate Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Mineral Resources and Environment, on Friday, November 21, 2014, visited the Product Storage Terminal (PST) on Bushrod Island as a means of getting insight or being abreast with activities of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) that is located on the PST.
Chaired by Hon. Cletus S. Wotorson, Senator Grand Kru County, the committee met with Senior and Executive management Team members in the Training hall of the LPRC. Other members of the senate committee part of the visit included Senators Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, Montserrado County, Henry Yalla, Bong County and Isaac Nyenabo, Grand Gedeh County.
Sen. Wotorson who is the first Managing Director of the LPRC, and his committee members were welcomed by Acting Managing Director, Aaron J. Wheagar, I and staff as both parties proceeded to the Training hall.
Senator Wotorson in his introductory remarks noted that “the Committee’s mandate is to ensure this unit(LPRC) maintains and sustains fuel security in the country”. He further stated that they are looking at LPRC mandate as they are doing the new oil reform laws.
“We have decided to come on sight and see the progress LPRC is making in their deliverables”, Senator Wotorson indicated. He also said LPRC is an essential core in the committee development program., but was curious to know why the LPRC was not importing their own oil or petroleum products. “We are proud LPRC is doing well as shortages are manageable”, Senator Wotorson intoned.
Senator Doe-Sheriff added that they were keen to know the prospects, achievements, and hurdles of the LPRC. “When the Committee see these prospects, they will then get back to the House of Senate and tell their colleagues”, the Montserrado county Senator averred.
Mr. Wheagar said that the Managing Director T. Nelson Williams, II was out of the country. Mr. Wheagar who is the Deputy Managing Director for Operations of LPRC, briefed the committee on the expansion and rehabilitation contract of the PST. The contract he informed the senate committee was signed between LPRC and Motherwell in October 2010 with a value of US$ 22.4 million, but that as a result of some variations, it has been increased to US$ 23.8 million. Mr. Wheagar noted that the contract was at a fast pace with several new tanks built, but that it is now on hold due to the current Ebola crisis. He however told the senate committee that a modern petroleum testing laboratory and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) room has since been completed as a result of the Motherwell project and that these two facilities have been in operation for more than a year.
Mr. Wheagar among other things said there has been no shortage of petroleum products in the country for quite a protracted period and that the prices of petroleum products continue to drop as the prices have dropped for the last three months in a row and that the company is collaborating with its partners. He also said the company is a member of the African Refiners Association (ARA).
There was a power point presentation done by Acting Project Manager Wilrusha Fernandez where a concise explanation was done on the current state of PST rehabilitation project with the question and answer period being next in line.
Senators Yalla and Nyenabo asked as to whether there was a planned redundancy at the LPRC. Mr. Wheagar said there are no plans for redundancy.
There were inputs from Deputy Managing Director for Administration, Jackson Fiah Doe, Jr., Finance Comptroller Elizabeth Matu Tubman and Operations Manager, Joseph Dennis.