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NNPC silent on its 2016 pledge to make all refinery work at full capacities this year

Three months into the 2017 production year, signals are yet to emerge that by the end of the year, all refineries in Nigeria will be working and producing products at full capacities.

Nigeria currently has four refineries including two in Port Harcourt, one in Warri and one in Kaduna.

Business Hilights recalls that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 said it would embark on a comprehensive rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries to achieve optimal capacity utilisation in 2017.

NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Refineries, Mr. Anibor Kragha, said this in Abuja in a statement by Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division.

The three refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt have had skeletal operations in 2016 and investigations by our correspondent show that the skeletal operations has continued up till now, thus causing the observed pump price differentials in parts of the country up till now.

The statement issued then reported Kragha as saying that the Corporation was determined to move away from the approach of quick fixes and undertake a comprehensive revamp of the plants.

The statement issued on December 20, 2016 read in parts: “The plan for 2017 is to get the comprehensive rehabilitation programme done.

“The situation is like having three cars in your garage that have not been maintained for 15 to 20 years while you expect optimal performance from them.

“Changing one fuel pump here, one compressor there is not helpful. What we are doing now is to step back and take a holistic approach and do a full rehabilitation of all the refineries.”

Ughamadu further noted that once the exercise was achieved, a chart for routine Turn Around Maintenance Programme would be drawn.

On the earlier plan to have other refineries co-located with the existing refineries, Kragha explained that though the plan was still on course, none of the projected co-location refineries would come on stream in 2017 based on existing timeline for assemblage of the plants.

Just as the statement in December said the Port Harcourt Refinery was a ”few steps away” from commencing the production of Aviation Turbine Fuel known as aviation fuel, Business Hilights findings as at Wednesday still show that the said few steps is now getting more steps away as facilities for the delivery is yet to be fixed.

The statement stated that earlier, the Managing Director of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company, Mallam Idi Maiha, assured that KPRC was ”assiduously working towards a target of 75 per cent capacity utilisation in 2017”.

Mariah projected that the KPRC would supply one cargo of crude oil per month.

Also, the Managing Director of Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company, Mr. Solomon Ladenegan, noted that “despite the hostile operating environment, fraught with incessant cases of pipeline pulverization and outright product theft, the refinery was looking forward to better days ahead”.

Earlier last month, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu sealed a deal with ENI group in Rome over a partnership to deliver the refineries on time, but more details on the success of the deal has remained scanty.

Industry observer say NNPC has all it takes to deliver on the promise to achieve full capacity production of all four refineries considering the return of peace in the region.

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