By Akpokona Omafuaire
WARRI – THE Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has said that Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, WRPC, Ekpan was shut down due to ongoing maintenance contrary to insinuation that it was due to crude shortage.
According to the NNPC GMD, “The Warri Refinery wasn’t shut down because of lack crude supply, rather the Refinery was not supplied because it was down, this is different thing altogether.
“It makes no sense to supply a refinery that was totally down. There is no point getting crude when the refinery is sitting idle.
“They had a problem, that was why they shut down. But they are working assiduously on it, i have a timeline of November to be able to get the refinery back.”
Kachikwu pointed out that the problems with the refineries is that for the past 10-15 years, there has been no major maintenance.
“The reality is that for over 10-15 years, no serious maintenance has been done on the plants. If you ride a car for 10 years and you don’t maintain it, nobody need to tell you what will happen to it.
“So we are beginning a very assiduous work on the refinery and we hope to bring them to reliability platform and how we can consistently maintain them. A lot of energies will be built around that and a lot of time is needed to stabilize them.
“The refinery will be back by the end of the work we are doing. First week of November precisely, there are some components of the refinery that are running now but we are focussing on the area where the bread and butter is.”
Kachikwu also added that rigorous patrol of will be undertaken to ensure zero vandalism of pipelines. He said that there will be internal and external patrols and choppers will be deployed to patrol the Warri-Escravos pipelines.