None of the nation’s four refineries of 445,000 barrels per day combined capacity has come back on stream few days to the end of the 90-day fast-track ultimatum given for their revival.
Three of the refineries in Warri, Kaduna and the 150,000 bpd Port Harcourt plant had resumed production of refined petroleum products in July after undergoing rehabilitation, but two were shut down in August, while the Port Harcourt refinery stopped operation in September.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, told our correspondent in a telephone interview on Monday that the 90-day deadline given by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, who is also the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, was meant to bring the refineries back to shape, ruling out the possibility that any of them would be sold at the expiration of the deadline.
He explained, “Two of them are ready to go; what they just need now is crude and that is why we try to get the pipelines working. Kaduna, for instance, is ready to go. Port Harcourt is ready to go and the other ones are still being worked upon.
“Nobody talked about selling. There has not been any time anybody said anything about selling.”
Alegbe said as a result of the frequent vandalism of the pipelines, the NNPC had decided to involve the Army corps of engineers to secure them, adding that the Warri-Kaduna pipeline and the Bonny-Port Harcourt pipeline had some issues.
He said the problem with the Port Harcourt refinery had been resolved and “it should be back on stream this week.”
Kachikwu had on Sunday said that in the next 24 months, Nigerians would see a positive dramatic turn in the refinery model in the country.
The NNPC had in August cancelled the contract for the delivery of crude oil to the nation’s refineries due to exorbitant costs and inappropriate process of engagement.
The corporation noted that as a stop-gap measure, NIDAS Marine Limited, a subsidiary of the NNPC, had been engaged to provide crude delivery service on negotiated industry standard rates pending the establishment of a substantive contract.
Responding to Kachikwu’s 90-day ultimatum in October, the Acting Managing Director, Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company, Mr. Solomon Ladenegan, had pledged that measures had been put in place to ensure that the plant was back in full operation by early November in good time for the ultimatum.
Kachikwu, had during a facility tour of the refinery in Kaduna, given the assurance that the corporation would provide all the necessary enablers to make the Kaduna Refining Petrochemical Company to operate commercially and optimally.