*Targets 60 percent capacity utilisation
09 January 2017, Abuja — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said yesterday that it would invite external licensors to undertake process audits on its four refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.
It said that when the process audit is concluded, its importation of petroleum products into the country would reduce and the capacity utilisation of the refineries increased to 60 per cent by the end of 2017.
A statement by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the corporation, Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja stated that its Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, disclosed this during a courtesy call on him by the management of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust Newspapers.
Baru explained that the NNPC was keen on ending petroleum products importation in a few years and that a concrete plan was on the ground to achieve this.
“We are putting together various programmes to ensure that we achieve at least 60 percent local refining by the end of this year. It is the procedure or methodology that we are changing a little bit, we are focusing on the process licensors to come and audit our processes and they have already started auditing most of our process units in the various refineries,” said Baru.
He further explained: “We hope if we do all these systematically, we should be able to get about 60 percent level of capacity utilisation by the end of this year or at worst by the first quarter of 2018 and get to 80 percent by the end of 2018 so that we could locally be able to supply half of our PMS requirements.
“Also, with other efforts in terms of other refineries coming in place, we should be able to quit importation in a few years.”
He urged the media to help in enlightening the public on the dangers of pipeline vandalism, which he said had become a drain on the nation’s economy.
*Chineme Okafor – Thisday