By Prince Okafor
kaduna—Against the challenges in moving crude oil from South-South Nigeria to Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), the Presidency has turned to Niger Republic for supply of the commodities to bring KRPC into full operation.
Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, weekend disclosed ongoing plans by the Federal Government to construct about 1, 000 kilometer crude oil pipelines from Niger Republic to Kaduna Refinery.
Baru made this known during a town hall meeting with management and staff of KRPC in Kaduna.
According to him, “Due to challenges with the aged refinery and crude oil pipelines that had been breached severally, the operations of the refinery has been epileptic. This we are determined to resolve through various intervention methods, including evaluation of alternative crude oil supply from Niger Republic through building of a pipelines of over 1, 000 kilometers from Agadem to Kaduna. That effort is being championed by Mr. President himself.”
He said: “It was important to explore alternative crude supply to KRPC, which has been affected by vandalism of pipelines and obsolescence, assuring that the initiative will reduce downtime of the plant and ensure optimal utilisation.
“The Corporation has already started engagements with the Nigerien Minister of Petroleum and the Chinese that are operating the field at Agadem (The Agadem Block is located in the East Niger Rift Basin)
Baru, pledges to drive the energy supply project to power industries in Kaduna by ensuring the completion of the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline.
On his part, Managing Director of KRPC, Malam Idi Mukhtar, said the Fluid Cracking Catalytic Unit (FCCU) of the plant was restreamed in June.
“The Kerosene Hydrotreating Unit (KHU) rehabilitation is ongoing with the equipment overhaul and integrity checks. When operational the margin of value addition on kerosene and Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) will provide millions of naira in revenue, even at a throughput of 60 per cent,” Mukhtar assured.
It would be recalled that the refinery was designed to process both imported paraffinic and Nigerian crude oils into fuels and lubes products and was constructed by Chiyoda Chemical Engineering and Construction Company (now Chiyoda Corporation) of Japan. In December 1986, the design capacity of the fuels plants of the Refinery was successfully debottlenecked from 50,000 barrels per stream day (BPSD) to 60,000 BPSD, bringing the total refinery installed capacity to 110,000 BPSD.