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FG Shuts Down P’Harcourt Refinery Over Escravos Attack

FG Shuts Down P’Harcourt Refinery Over Escravos AttackThe attacks on vital crude oil pipelines by suspected militants in the Niger Delta region and crude supply challenges have forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to shutdown the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries Wednesday last week.

NNPC Group General Manager Public Affairs, Mr Ohi Alegbe, in a statement in Abuja, stated that the plants were shut simultaneously on Sunday after the Bonny – Okrika crude supply line to the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Escravos-Warri crude supply line to the Kaduna Refinery suffered breaches.
He stated that before the closure, the Port Harcourt Refinery was recording a daily PMS yield of over 4.1 million litres while Kaduna Refinery was posting a daily petrol production of about 1.3 million litres.

The statement noted that the Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company, WRPC is still on stream and producing a little above 1.4 million litres of petrol per day.

The Corporation however assured that it has put in place strategies to guarantee unimpeded country-wide availability of petroleum products.

“In response to the unexpected setback, we have activated comprehensive remedial measures to sustain the prevailing stability in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” the NNPC said.

Meanwhile, power supply across Lagos metropolis took a nose dive early last week, following the attack on the Escravos-Warri-Lagos gas pipeline by suspected Niger Delta Militants.

An assessment of the power situation in Lagos and its environs revealed a massive drop in power allocation, with some areas having less than two hours of daily supply, under a load shedding arrangement.

The attack has led to the disruption of gas supply to power stations which included Egbin power station in Lagos, Geregu in Kogi State, Omotosho in Ondo State and Olorunsogo in Ogun State.

The attack on Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) gas pipelines has caused massive disruption in gas and electricity supplies. Government source said the attack on the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s gas network at Escravos was responsible for the load shedding.

As at last week, artisans within the Abule Egba/Oko Oba axis in Lagos, lamented the blackout was already taking a negative toll on their businesses because they hardly enjoy up to 3 hours of power supply in a day at the moment.

The situation was not different in Agege, Ajegunle, Ilasa, Orile, Surelere, Ijesha, Lekki, Ajah and parts of Ogun State which are being serviced through the affected pipelines.

The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing said the incident was a huge setback on its collaboration with Ministry of Petroleum Resources and other agencies to improve gas supplies to the power plants in the country.

The ministry said such efforts had resulted in some hitherto idle power plants like Ihovbor and Sapele being brought back on stream and contributing significantly to the power supply improvement in the country.
The gas pipeline systems in the Niger Delta region has been at the centre of incessant attacks in recent times, as records showed that at least six incidents of vandalism occured on the Trans Forcados Pipeline (at Oben, Sapele, Oredo) and Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) between December 2014 and February 2015, resulting in huge loss of gas supplies.

The vandalised pipelines also supply crude oil to Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company, as well as gas feedstocks to the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), West African Portland Cement Plants at Ewekoro and Shagamu in Ogun State, PZ  Industries at Ikorodu, and City Gate in Ikeja, Lagos.

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