By Michael Eboh, Sebastine Obasi, Ediri Ejoh & Favour Ulebor
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, stated that it had shut down the Warri Refinery, due to some technical issues surrounding its operations.
Speaking at the ongoing oil and gas conference in Abuja, Mr. Anibor Kragha, Chief Operating Officer, Refineries, of NNPC, said that presently, only the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries are working, though far below their installed capacities.
He said that the two refineries were producing about five million litres of Automotive Gasoline Oil, AGO, as well as Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, and Household Kerosene, HHK.
However, he stated that in January 2017, all the four refineries were working, until a few days ago, when the Warri refinery was shut down due to some technical faults.
“The only refinery that is having some issues is the one in Warri, because we have some power challenge and we are working very hard with General Electric, GE, to address that. But in January, all of them were working. The whole of Port Harcourt refinery has come on stream and it is running well,” he said.
“Meanwhile the Warri refinery had also started running but there is something with the gas turbine generators that tripped, so it was shut to make sure we address that, but as you know, you cannot start up the equipment without having negative things happen.
“We have gas turbine generations in Warri and they shift. We have GE on site to correct it. It is not an efficiency thing. All the units were running — Crude Distillation Unit, CDU, Fluid Catalytic Converter, FCC and they were running in Warri and then we have this trip and said we are going to shut down to address it properly.”
Kragha disclosed that the depot price of crude oil produced from the country’s refineries currently stands at N133 per litre, while the ex-depot price is N136 per litre, meaning that at N145, oil marketers are gaining N9 from a litre of PMS from the country’s refineries.
However, he stated that despite the not-too-good shape of the refineries, the NNPC has no mandate to sell any equity in any of the refineries, stating that it had set a 24-month target to revamp the refineries and also boost Nigeria’s refining capacity through the co-location arrangement among others.
Also speaking, a Former Managing Director of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries, Mr. Alex Ogedegbe, warned against incorporating illegal crude oil refiners, stating that it poses serious hazards and risks to the environment, lives of individuals and vehicles.