By Emma AMAIZE, Warri
MANAGING Director of the Warri Petrochemical and Refining Company (WRPC), Warri, Engineer Andy Yakubu, weekend, said the company was producing atÂ optimal level, but, is faced with a serious challenge of evacuatingÂ Â petroleum, kerosene and diesel because of inadequate storage space.
Briefing newsmen after a facility tour of the WRPC on Thursday, the managing director asserted the company was producing at 60 per cent capacity and out of the total 4 million litres of petroleum produced per day, two million is evacuated by truck, leaving the remaining two million.
Similarly, out the two million litres ofÂ kerosene, 1.5 million is evacuated by truck, leaving 500,000 while out of the three million litres of diesel; one million is evacuated by truck, leaving two million litres, he added.
Engineer Yakubu said the obvious reality is that if the products were not evacuated, WRPC may be constrained to stop production to allow for evacuation of already produced products, as it would make no sense for it to be producing with no space to store the products.
On the part of the company, he said it had secured and rehabilitated some facilities in its old jetty to evacuate petroleum, kerosene and diesel through coastal transportation.
He conducted newsmen round the jetty where two vessels have anchored, waiting to be loaded with petroleum, to be shipped to Lagos . Saturday Vanguard learnt that three vessels have come in the past two weeks and others were waiting in Escravos to berth in Warri.
Already, the impact of the new production capacity of WRPC is being felt in Warri where since, last month, the pump price of petroleum has returned to the normal N65 per liter and there is no longer queue at petrol stations.
The WRPC boss is, however, optimistic that with the current coastal transportation of petroleum products to Lagos , importation of fuel would be discontinued. He assured the Warri refinery was functioning well and the present production level would be increased if adequate provisions were made for prompt evacuation of products.