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Indication has emerged on why the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) decided to source crude oil supply source for its Kaduna Refinery from Niger republic.
The reason is to avoid cases of vandalisation of pipelines along crude oil supply line from Niger Delta to Kaduna.
The corporation in a statement by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, yesterday in Abuja, quoted its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, as saying that a 1,000 kilometres crude oil pipeline from Niger Republic to Kaduna would be built.
Baru said the NNPC was committed to the upgrade and expansion of the Kaduna Refinery in line with his 12 key business focus areas in order to return it to the path of growth and profitability.
He stated that efforts were ongoing to explore the possibilities of piping crude oil from Niger Republic to the refinery, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari was personally committed to this.
The corporation, he noted, had already started engagements with the Nigerien Minister of Petroleum and the Chinese that are operating the field at Agadez.
He also promised to drive the energy supply project to power industries in Kaduna by ensuring the completion of the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline.
Baru averred that it was important to explore alternative crude oil supply to Kaduna Refinery because it has been affected by vandalism of pipelines and obsolescence, arguing that the initiative would reduce downtime of the plant and ensure optimal utilisation.
“Due to challenges with the aged refinery and crude oil pipelines that had been breached severally, the operations of the refinery have been epileptic.
“Therefore we are determined to resolve through various intervention methods including evaluation of alternative crude oil supply from Niger Republic through building pipelines of over 1,000 kilometers from Agadez to Kaduna. That efforts are being championed by the president,” Baru said.
The Managing Director of the refinery, Idi Mukhtar was also quoted to have said the Fluid Cracking Catalytic Unit (FCCU) of the plant was restreamed in June.
Mukhtar said “The Kerosene Hydrotreating Unit (KHU) rehabilitation is ongoing with the equipment overhaul and integrity checks. When operational, the margin of value addition on kerosene and Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) will provide millions of naira in revenue, even at a throughput of 60 per cent.”