Nigeria’s four refineries at Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna must become fully functional within the next three months to guarantee uninterrupted fuel supply in the country, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, said on Wednesday.
The NNPC boss, who was speaking in Kaduna during a tour of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, assured that his management would provide all that is required to enable refineries operate optimally.
“We must make all the FCCUs (Fluid Catalytic Cracking Units) and the fuel sections to work efficiently in the next three months so that Nigerians will continue to enjoy uninterrupted supply of petroleum products,” Mr. Kachikwu said.
On the refinery in Kaduna, the NNPC boss said the plant would soon experience a turn around that would make it commercially viable and sustainable in view of the level of energy being invested to accelerate the effort to give it the desired face lift.
“You will soon have a different company. We must leave no stone unturned in our determination to put the plant on the path of profitability. We must make the company a success,” the GMD told the staff and management after the tour.
Although he noted that the challenges currently militating against the operations of the refineries were huge, Mr. Kachikwu declared they were not insurmountable.
He assured that all the component units of the refinery, including the FCCU and the fuel section, would be fully rehabilitated to restore crude oil supply to the plant for product refining.
While commending the previous administrations for establishing the refineries, he challenged Nigerian leaders to sustain the vision, and ensure that the crisis in the supply of petroleum products was collectively resolved.
He underscored the need to establish more refineries in the country in view of the current low local refining capacity that has seen the country depending on massive importation to meet domestic demand.
“I am pushing to build new refineries next to our existing plants in order to boost the nation’s refining capacity for the common good,” Mr. Kachikwu said. “The new refineries will be developed by private investors, while NNPC’s role will just be to provide with space close to the existing refineries to enable them share key facilities, such as pipelines and storage facilities.”
He promised to undertake periodic visits to the refineries, to galvanize the process of bringing them to optimal level of efficiency.
The Group Executive Director, Refining & Technology, Dennis Ajulu, expressed optimism in the ability of the NNPC to rise above its challenges and reposition itself on the path of profitability.
On his part, the Managing Director of KRPC, Saidu Mohammed, said the staff of the company were fully aligned to the vision of commercialisation and would support the GMD to drive process to a successful conclusion.
Since assumption of office last month, Mr. Kachikwu had embarked on similar inspection tours of both Port Harcourt and Warri refineries.