*As NLNG blames LPG scarcity on Apapa port congestion

By Mike Eboh & Prince Okafor

ABUJA— NIGERIAN National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, announced that the Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri refineries had resumed production of Dual Purpose Kerosene, DPK, and Automotive Gas Oil, AGO, otherwise known as kerosene and diesel respectively.

Similarly, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, blamed the current scarcity and high cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, nationwide on the inability of its LPG vessel to berth and discharge its contents at the Apapa ports since December 29, 2016, due to congestion of the port facility.

The NNPC, in a statement in Abuja, disclosed that the refineries started producing both commodities since Saturday, and were currently producing more than six million litres of kerosene and seven million litres of diesel on a daily basis.

According to the NNPC, the resumption of refining of AGO and DPK was expected to balance the disequilibrium in demand and supply of the products being experienced in parts of the country.

Speaking on the production level of the Warri refinery, Managing Director of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, WRPC, Mr. Solomon Ladenegan, said the plant had been doing well since the Crude Distillation Unit, CDU, was revved up on Saturday, January 7, 2017.

He explained that the refinery resumed production Saturday at about 10:22hours, with the plant’s CDU functioning, saying that the plant now refine two million litres of kerosene and three million litres of diesel daily.

According to him: “This morning (yesterday), we have pumped the products to PPMC and they have started loading. They are going to load up to one million litres of DPK and AGO. The products are there in the tank and we are doing everything to get them to the market.”

In the same vein, Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC, Mr. Bafred Enjugu, said the Port Harcourt refinery was producing three million litres of AGO daily, in addition to millions of DPK being churned out by the refinery daily.

Enjugu explained that the company’s operators were thrilled having rehabilitated the old Port Harcourt refinery where the production of AGO was being carried out by themselves without the deployment of foreign expertise.

Furthermore, the NNPC also stated that the Kaduna Refinery had roared into action, producing millions of litres products to ease out the situation in supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide.

Meanwhile, the NLNG, in a statement by its General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke said: “For instance, NLNG’s dedicated LPG vessel has been unable to discharge LPG at the Apapa port since 29th December 2016 due to jetty unavailability, resulting in temporary product shortages in the market. Nigeria LNG’s domestic LPG price is based on an international price index plus 50 per cent of the shipping cost of delivering the product to receiving facilities in Apapa-Lagos. That price is invoiced in Naira at the prevailing official interbank exchange rates, contrary to erroneous assertions.

“The reality of this is that although LPG is produced and consumed locally, the product like crude oil is an internationally traded commodity with an international price benchmark, open to global demand and supply pressures.

“NLNG however softens the impact of price variations by continuing to subsidise the cost of transporting about 40 per cent of total domestic market share which it supplies from its production facility on Bonny Island.”

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