By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, weekend, stated that the newly re-opened Port Harcourt and Warri refineries are now producing seven million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol per day.
According to an NNPC statement in Abuja, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, made this disclosure while re-commissioning the Bonny-Port Harcourt Refinery crude pipeline that had been rehabilitated after being out of use for a number of years due to incessant pipeline vandalism.
According to Kachikwu, Port Harcourt Refining Company now produces five million litres of Premium Motor Spirit while the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company also produces two million liters of petrol per day.
He also noted that the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company is scheduled to start production any moment from now adding that the coming on stream of the three refineries will go a long way to ensure sufficient supply and distribution of petrol across the country.
He stated that the NNPC under his watch has been able to recover the two critical crude supply pipelines which were Escravos to Warri and Bonny to Port Harcourt crude supply pipelines stressing that they are critical to the downstream sector of the industry.
“Port Harcourt is back in production, Warri is back in production, Kaduna as at today is receiving crude and will soon be back in production. Lagos is easing off now from fuel scarcity and Abuja is doing the same thing and once Kaduna begins production, the North will see a lot of improvement,” he explained.
He added that for the first time in many years, the three refineries are going to be working and it will help in a great deal with the issue of fuel supply and distribution across the country.
He maintained that the commercial governance model system was being introduced into the refineries so as to keep them in business and to enable them compete favourably in the hydrocarbon value chain.
“ What we have done is to find a very creative way of bringing investors who will come in, work with our team here who have the skills, reactivate and upgrade facilities in these refineries’’, the minister disclosed.
According to him, the investors will also help us to provide technical support and they will be paid through the flow out of refined products over a period of time which is why we have also changed the refining model such that refineries pay for their crude so it goes into federation account.
He explained that whatever they produce is theirs and they sell to one huge customer which will be both Nigerian Petroleum Marketing Company (NPMC) and the marketers themselves and that enables them to keep the refineries going after the upgrade so that the problem we have in the past of not repairing the refineries will not reoccur.
Kachikwu noted that the misgivings going round that we are trying to hand over refineries is not true saying that the President was very clear from day one, that at this point in time he was not ready for that, so that is not the model we are pursuing now.