The Federal Government has no plan to sell any of the nation’s four refineries, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, said on Wednesday.
Mr. Kachikwu, who disclosed this during a tour of the Okrika Jetty and the Port Harcourt Refining Company, also said the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited would be split into three different companies to ensure lean, efficient and profitable operations.
The NNPC subsidiary in charge of marketing and distribution of petroleum products, Mr. Kachikwu explained, would be split into a pipelines company that would focus primarily on the maintenance of the over 5,000 kilometres petroleum products pipeline network owned by the NNPC; a storage company that would maintain all the over 23 petroleum products depots, and a products marketing company that would be responsible for marketing and sale of petroleum products.
The decision to unbundle the company, the NNPC boss explained, is to ensure that the right set of skills were deployed to reposition its operation, while ensuring that leakages on the pipeline and products losses were reduced to the barest minimum.
The GMD said the ongoing phased rehabilitation of all the state-owned refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna would be accelerated to help reduce the volume of petroleum products importation in the country.
At full capacity, he said all the refineries could contribute a total 20 million litres of petrol to the total volume of fuel supply on daily basis.
“The refineries will not be sold, but joint venture partners, with established track records of success in refining, would be invited to support the running of the refineries in order to ensure efficiency,” Mr. Kachikwu said.
He said efforts were on to fix all the crude and petroleum products pipelines across the country, while the Nigerian Airforce would be engaged to provide aerial survey of the pipelines.
Similarly, the Nigerian Army Engineering corps would fix and police the pipelines, while the Nigerian Navy would provide marine surveillance for the network of pipelines.
While commending the NNPC’s engineers for the successful execution of the on-going phased rehabilitation of the refineries, he urged them to prepare replacement programmes for obsolete spare parts of all the Corporation’s installations in order to avoid intermittent shutdown of facilities.
The Managing Director of the PHRC, Bafred Enjugu, told the GMD that the ongoing phased rehabilitation of the plant cost a little less than $10 million, adding that the job was holistically carried out by indigenous engineers without any foreign support.
On her part, the Managing Director of PPMC Limited, Esther Namdi-Ogbue, assured the GMD that the Company would think outside the box to provide solutions to the challenges confronting the Company.
Meanwhile, the PHRC has since resumed normal production of petroleum products, Mr. Kachikwu announced.
He said the plant, which would be producing a minimum of five million litres of petroleum products every day, would positively impact the volume of fuel imports to meet local consumption.
The phased repair of the refinery were undertaken by three contracting firms led by a Chrome Group subsidiary, Chrome Oil Services, COS, which has worked on the refinery since 1999. The others included DKJ/ITC and DBM.
The Project Manager, Bombey Adigbara, said operations from the plant would raise its fuel production to about 98 percent of its 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) installed capacity, while product supplies would help cut down petrol importation by about 40 percent.
The rehabilitation exercise was undertaken to ensure production of refined petroleum products from the refinery was restored as part of Federal Government’s efforts to cut down importation of petrol.