The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday announced that Port Harcourt and Warri refineries have successfully restarted production after a nine-month phased rehabilitation programme.
Re-streaming of production at the two facilities followed the completion of technical repairs by in-house engineers and technicians, the NNPC said.
The Spokesperson for the corporation, Ohi Alegbe, said both plants commenced preliminary production of petroleum products after successful test-runs.
He said Port Harcourt refinery has already raised its operational capacity to about 60 per cent of its 210, 000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity, while production at Warri refinery was projected to hit 80 per cent of installed 125,000 bpd capacity.
Mr. Alegbe said the Port Harcourt Refinery was projected to boost the nation’s local refining capacity with a product yield of five (5) million litres of petrol per day, while Warri Refinery would contribute about 3.5 million litres of petrol to local refining capacity.
He said the corporation had to adopt the phased rehabilitation strategy for the repair of the refinery after the Original Refinery Builders (ORB) initially contacted to handle the project gave unfavourable terms.
Although a decision was taken in 2011 to rehabilitate all the refineries using the ORB, Mr. Alegbe said the NNPC had to switch the strategy after the ORBs declined to participate, opting to nominate some partners who came up with outrageously unfavourable terms.
Some of the difficult terms given by the nominated partners, which were sole bidders, include a huge contract offers after two years of exhaustive scope of work definition and price negotiations.
The ORB proxies, Mr. Alegbe said, were also unwilling to provide post rehabilitation performance guarantees for the refineries.
The phased rehabilitation strategy, he explained, entailed phased and simultaneous rehabilitation of all the refineries using in-house and locally available resources in line with the spirit and letter of the Nigerian content law.
This also involved the use of Original Equipment Manufacturer representatives to effect major equipment overhaul and rehabilitation.
The phased rehabilitation programme, the NNPC revealed, started in October 2014, after the required funding stream was established, creating a 70 per cent reduction in costs, which helped largely in mitigating the financing challenges of refinery rehabilitation.
The Corporation said that with the successful re-streaming of the PHRC and WRPC, attention would now shift to the 110,000 bpd Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company billed to come on stream soon.
Meanwhile, the NNPC has announced that it has successfully recovered the System 2B Pipeline, which was breached by vandals last week at Arepo, Ogun State.
The Corporation said its team of engineers deployed to the scene of the incident was able to access the pipeline after the fire was put out and commenced repair work immediately.
“We wish to announce that the vital System 2B Pipeline, which was breached at Arepo last week has been fixed and brought back on stream.
“Pumping of products through the system commenced on Monday upon successful completion of repair work over the weekend.
“We also wish to call on all those engaged in the criminal acts of pipeline sabotage and oil theft to desist in order to avoid such horrendous deaths as was witnessed in the recent incident,” Mr. Alegbe said.