This is coming on high expectations that the nation’s refineries would soon spring to life, going by the indications from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Indeed, it was gathered that the 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) Warri refinery resumed production last week after maintenance and is expected to run at 60,000 bpd.
The Port Harcourt complex is also expected to start ramping up over the next few weeks but only the newer of the two plants at the site was functional and at 90,000 bpd against its 150,000 bpd capacity.
The last refinery to restart will be that of Kaduna, as it will take about two more weeks to repair the pipeline bringing crude from the Niger Delta.
The Group Executive Director of Refining and Petrochemicals, NNPC, Ian Udoh, said the corporation is expected to receive six cargoes of Bonny Light and Escravos crude oil to run 180,000 bpd, representing about 40 per cent of Nigeria’s total refining capacity.
He however expected that the refineries would produce eight million litres a day of petrol, accounting for about 20 percent of national consumption.
The corporation had faced serious challenges of pipeline vandalism, which automatically halt crude oil supply to the refineries in recent times. The NNPC has however device alternative means of supplying crude through vessel haulage.
Udoh said the nation would therefore need about $1 billion to replace just one of the key pipelines and an overhaul of the jetties to receive more vessels.
NNPC has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt (PHRC), and one each in Kaduna (KRPC) and Warri (WRPC). The refineries have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 bpd. A comprehensive network of pipelines and depots strategically located throughout Nigeria links these refineries.
Apart from petrol, the NNPC also produces linear alkyl benzene, benzene, heavy alkylate and deparafinated kerosene at its Kaduna Refinery complex, while about 35,000 metric ton per annum (mtpa) polypropylene plant and an 18,000-mtpa carbon black are produced at the Warri Refinery plant.
The Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the corporation, Ohi Alegbe, had earlier promised that the nation’s four refineries will resume production this month.
“The refineries at Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna will resume next month (July) after a successful turn-around-maintenance (overhaul) of their facilities. The turn-around-maintenance has been on for some time. We did not just want to make any noise about it. The refineries will start production as soon as they have delivery of crude oil for refining,” he stated.