by Hauwa Gambo
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday announced significant improvement in the nation’s refining capacity. According to the agency. domestic refining of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) at Nigeria’s three refineries has increased to 10.23 million litres per day.
Vanguard reports that, “According to Group Executive Director, Refining and Petrochemicals, NNPC, Engineer Anthony Ogbuigwe, the three refineries are also currently producing 5.53 million litres of dual purpose kerosene and 8.016 million litres of automotive gas oil, diesel daily.”
He disclosed that the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company is currently running at 65 percent installed capacity, while the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company is producing at 63 per cent and the Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company at 66 per cent of installed capacity.
He said, “I can tell you with every sense of responsibility that contrary to the news making the round, all our refineries are doing very well.
The major components and various units of Fluid Catalytic Cracking Units, (FCCU), Crude Distillation Unit (VDU) and Vacuum Distillation Unit (DDU) of all the refineries are working well.
“Infact, these refineries have been running consistently for over three months now.”
He explained that the stability that has characterized the supply of petroleum products to motorists in the country is attributable to the good performance of the refineries.
Ogbuigwe maintained that the scheduled turn around maintenance for the refineries are on course and already the Port Harcourt refinery has taken delivery of some of the components for its rehabilitation.
“I can tell you that five shipments for the turn around maintenance of the Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company have arrived,” he added.
He decried the incessant pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft stressing that the menace is a big threat to the nation’s oil and gas industry.
He called on all the stakeholders in the petroleum sector and Nigerians to team up with the NNPC in finding a lasting solution to the menace to enable the refineries run without hitches.
The NNPC had in January last year declared that the country’s three refineries would be producing at 90 per cent of their installed capacity by December 2013.
The then Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engineer Austen Oniwon, said that the turn-around maintenance of the refineries back then was part of effort towards ensuring adequate local refining of petroleum products.
He admitted that the refineries were not doing well but assured that NNPC has designed refinery revitalization working plan using the original contractors that built the refineries.
According to him, the Port Harcourt refinery will commence the projected capacity production by the fourth quarter of 2012 to be followed by Kaduna refinery by the first quarter of 2013, while Warri refinery will come on stream by the fourth quarter of 2013.
The NNPC also assured that the proposed three Greenfield refineries to be built by Chinese companies will not only make Nigeria to be self sufficient in petroleum products, but will also make the country become net exporter of petroleum products, in in line with OPEC objectives.