13 January 2012, Sweetcrude, PORT HARCOURT – The Port Harcourt refineries would begin to work optimally from November after a Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured.
Mr Philip Chukwu, Group Executive Director (GED), Refining and Petrochemicals at the NNPC gave the assurance in Port Harcourt during an inspection of the refineries alongside officials of Maire Tecnimont, the contractors which the Federal Government engaged for the TAM.
Chukwu who decried the lack of maintenance of the twin Port Harcourt refineries in the last 12 years, commended the Federal Government for engaging the original constructors of the refineries for the TAM.
“Everyone knows that the refineries have not been properly maintained over the years and we have had to manage things. What we are doing now is to have the TAM and complete rehabilitation of the refineries by the original contractors,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two Port Harcourt refineries which consist of the old refinery with capacity to process 60, 000 barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil and the new refinery of 150, 000 b/d capacity, had been functioning at very low capacity with the old one not working at the moment because of lack of maintenance.
Chukwu explained that the TAM, which would start in October, would require a total shut down of the plants for between 45 days and 60 days to ensure a thorough job.
He said the TAM and rehabilitation process would also entail overhauling the supply chain and pipelines that bring crude oil and capacity building for staff so as to meet international best practice.
He said the NNPC was also working with all stakeholders, including security operatives, to ensure the pipelines were safe and no longer vandalised.