The challenge of inadequate supply and high cost of aviation fuel may linger as the nation’s four refineries remains idle. This according to experts in the aviation sector may continue to frustrate activities in the airline business because of scarcity of Jet A1.
FRecently, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika was quoted to have said that he had met with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and that efforts were on to ensure that the refineries began to refine the product locally.
But the latest monthly financial and operations report of the NNPC showed that the refining of Jet-A1 locally might not happen any time soon as two of the refineries were unable to process any volume of crude oil in July 2016 despite receiving substantial crude volumes during the month.
Although airline operators expressed optimism based on Sirika’s promise, they, however, noted that the idleness of the refineries was not encouraging and might derail the target of refining Jet-A1 in the country. Only the Port Harcourt Refining Company was able to process 126,765 metric tonnes of crude oil out of a total of 300,038MT that was made available to it in the month under review.
The other two, Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company and Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, did not process any crude despite having 238,849MT and 190,370MT of crude allocated to them during the period.
Findings show that many of the airline companies now fly as far as Ghana and neighbouring countries for refueling of the aircrafts before coming back to Nigeria for business, causing flights cancellations and delays.