Seplat’s operations disrupted at Amukpe, Sapele

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  • Company declares commitment to best contract management practice

Sopuruchi Onwuka

Seplat Energy Plc said its operations suffered glitches when third party contract workers invaded its facilities at Amukpe and Sapele all in Delta state, forcing the company to declare force majeure and hedge from contractual failures arising from the incident.

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The company declared in statement weekend that some community indigenes working as contractors’ personnel invaded the locations in the early hours of the morning, “disrupting production activities and subsequently forcing a brief halt to business activities, including a declaration of force majeure to affected customers.”

It added that it engaged government and other stakeholders to resolve the disruption and quell the uprising.

“And normal operations have resumed,” the company stated. Figures on lost production were not provided in the statement.

Seplat stated that it was not aware of any dispute that required attention of its management before the disruption happened, adding that all its dispute resolution mechanisms were not explored by the invaders.

“At Seplat Energy, our contractor personnel are encouraged to make their grievances known (if any) through their managing contractors or designated Seplat officials, or otherwise leverage established third-party mediation channels. We are actively looking into why these individuals opted for a disruptive action without recourse to established procedures and with no concern or regard for public safety and national interest (our Seplat West facilities supply about 37 percent of the gas used for power generation in the country).

“Our stakeholder engagements continue. We have established through a meeting with the contractors’ personnel, security agencies and Okpe Host Communities Forum leaders, that the disruption was due to the individuals’ demands for salary increment and automatic conversion to regular staff. The contractors managing these individuals have been notified of their actions, and we understand that plans were underway to implement a salary increment for their personnel before the incident occurred.

“We must emphasize that during the invasion of our facilities, we ensured the safety and security of our staff which is always our primary priority. All of our production staff are safe, and no injury or harm was recorded.

“Seplat Energy continuously strives to ensure best practice in the management of personnel provided to us by third party service providers, including regular engagements on their grievances. These service providers will continue to engage their personnel and amicably address the concerns raised by them.

“We would like to appreciate the support from our community leaders and the government security agencies in working together with Seplat Energy to efficiently manage the situation, prevent any HSE incident and promptly restore normal operations. As part of our continuous improvement initiatives, we are maintaining an open line of communication with all concerned parties and in the coming weeks, we will complete a post-mortem and extract critical lessons-learned to strengthen our operations and prevent any recurrence,” the company declared.

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