14 June 2014, Kano – Managing Director of Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, Engr. Saidu Aliyu Mohammed, said yesterday that the huge demand for petroleum products by Nigerians and neigbouring countries will continue to force the nation to rely on fuel importation.
Nigeria, according to him, will not be able to produce enough to meet demand and will, therefore, continue to depend on importation.
Speaking during the opening of a two-day workshop for energy correspondents from Kaduna State in Kano, the KRPC boss, who is the immediate past Managing Director of the Nigeria Gas Company, said even if the nation’s refineries produce at full capacity, they will not be able to meet the needs of Nigerians.
He said: “We will continue to import fuel as long as we cannot meet the demand because it is about demand and supply. If there is no much demand, we will not go for importation.
“Even if all the refineries work at 100 per cent capacity, we cannot meet the demand of 30 million litres per day, and we should not forget that some of our neighbours also depend on Nigeria for fuel”.
Engr. Mohammed said all newly established power plants across the country had been linked by gas pipelines.
He said: “Initially, as the power plants were coming up, there was a misalignment between the power sector and the gas sector in the sense that the power plants were just springing up without taking the gas sector into consideration.
“In some instances, where the gas people were taken on board, they prepared the gas and you found that the power plant was not there. That misalignment has been corrected and what is happening today is laying of infrastructure to link all the power plants.
“I will say it categorically here that there is no power plant today that is not linked with a gas pipeline.”
On gas flaring which has been of concern to many Nigerians, he said: “I would say that gas flaring is gradually coming down. Only about seven years ago, we were flaring as much as 60 per cent of what we produced, but today, that has gone down as low as 15 per cent.
“When we say we produce, what we flare is the gas that comes with the oil, and as long as we produce the oil, you must get rid of the gas before you market it, and if you don’t have any need for the gas, you cannot do otherwise than to flare it for environmental safety.
“The gas produced, which is called associated gas, is the one we are referring to when we say certain percentage of it is flared and certain percentage is used. Today, the usage of that associated gas has risen to between 60 to 75 per cent in this country.
“So, the flares are going down, but there are flares that must be on at any moment because there is a level that you cannot economically recover the gas, and since it does not make economic sense, you just flare it.”
– The Nation