21 September 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Department of Chemical and Petrochemical Engineering in the Rivers State University has resuscitated and commissioned a mini-refinery equipment which has been obsolete for more than 30-years.
This follows the intervention of an alumnus of the department who convinced his firm to carry out repairs of the equipment.
Commissioning the equipment, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Blessing Didia, described the feat as divine, following several fruitless attempts by the university to fix the equipment.
Didia expressed happiness and gratitude that the company which successfully repaired the equipment, is manned by alumnus of the university.
According to him, “Something that was not working for over 30-years, just came back to life just like that. Since I came on board in 2015, we have been trying to buy AAS (Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer), the price is over N40 million and we offered to pay by installments but they refused. We even went to the bank for a loan but the bank couldn’t give us.
“So what you have repaired today and put in use is one of the greatest things that this university has been looking for. The AAS alone makes me very happy and of course, the mini-refinery. How I wish the mini-refinery will be used to produce our own petrol and diesel, so there will be no need for buying from outside anymore.
“It gladdens my heart that you all are alumni of this university,” the Rivers University Vice-Chancellor said.
Also, the Head of Department, Chemical and Petrochemical Engineering, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ukpaka, said with the resuscitation of the mini-refinery equipment, the department will commence major practical classes on crude oil refining.
“It is a great thing that God himself has designed it that today this department should be fully blessed. What God has done for the department’s equipment that have not be operational for years, today students can testify of using them for their academic endeavour and improvement.
“The Lord also blessed us with the person of the Vice Chancellor to harness Nigeria’s local content, and the students and also the audience needed to see how today has been a day of great joy for the department of chemical and petrochemical engineering.”