Nigeria: Govt moves closer to ending fuel crises, recommissions 46 km Escravos-Warri Pipeline

*Escravos pipeline.

*Escravos pipeline.

*Says $700m needed to upgrade refineries

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

24 April 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has recommissioned the Escravos-Warri-Kaduna pipeline stressing that both Warri and Kaduna refineries are now receiving crude simultaneously for the first time in many years.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mallam Garba Deen Muhammad in a press statement quoted Dr. Kachikwu as saying that Warri has started working while Kaduna will start production at the end of the month.

The Minister noted that this means that for the first time in many years, all the three refineries and major crude pipelines will be working at the same time.

Dr. Kachikwu stated that Escravos terminal is the heartbeat of the downstream sector of the industry and critical to the local supply of finished petroleum product as both refineries in Warri and Kaduna are majorly fed from Escravos crude stock.

“The challenge of this country is the challenge of focus and stewardship. For the first time in many years the three refineries are going to be working and it will help a great deal with the issue of fuel supply and distribution across the country and it will go a long way in managing the fuel crisis,’’ Dr. Kachikwu said.

He enjoined Nigerians to be more patient as the Corporation is working hard to end fuel shortage across the country.

“I appreciate the patience of Nigerians and I am committed and focused to making petrol available in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria,” the Minister reassured.

Meanwhile, Kachikwu has said the country needs about $700 million to upgrade the refineries to operate at 90 percent capacity.

He spoke when he inaugurated the Bonny–Eleme Refinery crude pipeline to formally bring the refinery on stream.

Inaugurating the crude pipeline on Saturday at the Pig Station of the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC, Alesa-Eleme, Kachikwu noted that there was needed to upgrade the refineries to operate at 90 percent capacity.

He stated that the daily consumption of premium motor spirit, PMS, currently stands at about 45 million litres and said the refineries now operating at 60 percent capacity could only produce 12 million, adding that there was the need to upgrade the refineries to produce at 90 per cent minimum to produce about 20 million litres.

He said the corporation was already sourcing for foreign investors to raise the necessary funds.
He, however, said the foreign investors were not coming to run the refineries but only to provide the needed capital and technical assistance.

“We have signed the advertisements for investors to come in. There is no confusion about what they are coming to do; they are not coming to run the refinery. They are coming to provide funds to take our performance on these refineries to 90 per cent and to provide us with technical skills. So, the areas of intervention will be funding and technical support,” he said.

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