12 June 2015, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday announced that the Port Harcourt refinery, which will resume production from early July, would seek to bridge the country’s daily domestic fuel supply and consumption by producing five million litres per day.
The corporation stated this in Abuja and noted that from the revised Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) strategy it adopted for the nation’s refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, the refineries at Port Harcourt which benefitted first from the TAM would by the end of June and early July begin to refine petroleum products up to 80 per cent of their nameplate capacities.
It explained that such percentage production would translate to five million litres of petrol sourced locally every day for consumption while the remnant of the nation’s consumption could still be imported.
The corporation however expects that the TAM on the other refineries would be completed within the next 18 months to significantly improve domestic refining and perhaps cut down importation of petrol.
Nigeria on the average reportedly consumes about 40 million litres of petrol per day, while its domestic refining capacity has dwindled over the years due to the poor management of its key refineries. The two refineries in Port Harcourt have a combined refining capacity of 210,000 barrels per day (bpd).
The other two in Kaduna and Warri have installed refining capacities of 110,000 bpd and 125,000bpd respectively.
They collectively have a refining capacity of 445,000bpd.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Joseph Dawha, explained that crude oil supply to Port Harcourt refinery would resume by the end of June.
He stated this at an assessment visit to the corporation’s retail outlets within the federal capital city, to ascertain their level of compliance with the ordered accelerated distribution of petrol to ease the lingering petrol supply crunch.
Dawha’s disclosure were further buttressed by explanations from the Managing Director of Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Haruna Momoh, that at 80 per cent operation, the Port Harcourt refinery would give out five million litres of petrol per day.
“The refineries are undergoing rehabilitation in a new strategy within the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM). We are carrying out phased implementation of the rehabilitation of the refineries and what that means is that we are checking the refineries unit-by-unit and carrying out TAM on them,” Dawha said.
He further stated: “We started this a couple of months ago and they have advanced to a certain stage. For example, the Port Harcourt refinery has reached an advanced stage and will start receiving crude by the end of this month. Of course, it will start contributing to the availability of product in the country.
“What we did was to start a process where people will not know that this is happening but we are busy carrying out TAM on the run and this is simultaneously taking place in all of them.
“By the end of 18 months, most of them would have been concluded to the extent that they can process crude optimally.”
According to him, “The refineries were not in a top shape to receive crude and get maximum value from them.”
He however said: “We are satisfied with the level of work that has been carried out so far in the Port Harcourt refinery so that if we start to send crude now, we will get real value and there will not be any value distraction as would have been the case if they were not operating properly.”
On the lingering supply crunch, Dawha explained that the supply situation which started as a result of shortfall in importation was then compounded by distribution challenges particularly in the Lagos area.
He stated that while the import deficit lasted, the NNPC continued to import as a supplier of last resort but was overburdened by the distribution challenges.
NNPC, he stressed, has a stock level of 1.1 billion litres that would take the country for about 27 days, in addition to firmed delivery within the next couple of days.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we are coming to the end of this scarcity as the measures taken by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC and other stakeholders take hold.
“As at today, PPMC has a Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) level of 1.1 billion litres, representing 27 days sufficiency. This stock is excluding volumes with firmed delivery dates within the next couple of days,” he said.
Dawha noted that with the commitment extracted from stakeholders lately, the deficit and its attendant queues would significantly come down by the weekend.
– This Day