04 September 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu on Thursday said the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) would resume production in November, 2015.
A statement from the Corporation signed by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe noted that Kachikwu disclosed this during his official visit to the WRPC in Ekpan, near Warri in Delta.
The GMD explained that the refinery stopped production temporarily to enable the authorities to carry out maintenance on some of its facilities.
Production of petroleum products resumed at the refinery about a month ago after it was shut down for more than one year but was stopped two weeks ago for the maintenance.
Kachikwu said that there had been no serious maintenance on the plants for about 15 years, adding that it had adversely affected the efficiency of the refinery.
According to him, “WRPC was not shut down because of lack of crude oil supply nor was crude oil not supplied because the refinery was down; the two are different things altogether.
“It makes no sense to supply crude oil that will be sold in the international market to refinery when it is idle.”
He added that, “The Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) unit had problem and that is why it was shut down. However, they are working assiduously on it.
“The reality is that for over 10 and 15 years, no serious maintenance has been done on the plants.”
Kachikwu said that refineries in the country would henceforth be given serious attention, especially in the area of consistent maintenance to enhance productivity, adding that the facilities had ‘’funding, contracting time and emergency proceedings’’ challenges’.
“There is a clear cut focus on the refineries to ensure that they run consistently; we are beginning to take the refineries seriously to bring them to reliability platforms.
“By the end of first week of November, the WRPC will be back,’’ he said.
Kachickwu also said that most of the pipelines were weak because they were over 40 years old, coupled with frequent vandalism on them.
He said aggressive security approach would be adopted in tackling security challenges in the corporation’s operations, remarking that “we will increase internal and external patrol where we have long distance pipelines like the Warri/Escravos route.
“In the next couple of weeks, we are also going to have tracking device that can track whatever is happening to the pipelines.
“My major goal is that by October, I like to see crude oil pumped by pipelines, rather than marine vessels transferring products into the refinery.’’
Kachickwu also said that faulty transmission lines were responsible for the gas supply into the national grid, assuring that there was enough gas in the system.
He explained that the various ongoing projects on the transmission line would boost electricity when completed.
“What we are doing right now is to try and maximise the volume of quantity of gas we can get through the existing transmission lines,’’ he stated.