WARRI REFINERY BEGINS PRODUCTION IN TWO WEEKS
• To Produce 4.6m Litres Per Day Of Petrol • As 11 Ships With Fuel Arrive Lagos
• Others Expected
Succor may finally have come for Nigerians, after months of harrowing experiences occasioned by the ongoing scarcity of petroleum products, particularly petrol across the country.
Strong indications emerged Tuesday, that the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) would within a fortnight begin production at 50 per cent installed capacity.
Daily Independent investigation revealed that the first consignment of crude oil for production at the company’s bay arrived on Monday, a development said to have sent members of staff of the company into wide jubilation after seeing barrels of crude oil being discharged for the first time in more than two years.
A barrel of crude would produce 73.8 liters of petrol when refined. This means that the Warri Refinery, with an installed capacity of 125,000 barrels per day would now be producing 62,500 barrels per day (at 50 per cent capacity), translating to 4,612,500 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) per day.
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Joseph Dawha had last week announced that the Port-Harcourt Refinery would next month commence production of petroleum products.
A source close to the WRPC who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that some barrels of crude have been received in preparation for full production.
The source who added that the establishment received crude oil consignment last in 2012, noted that crude oil supply to the refinery was stalled by the immediate past government. This, the source added, resulted in massive importation of refined products by the Federal Government in preparation for their full privatisation.
He further disclosed that all the machines for the take off of production were also last Sunday switched on in readiness for production works in the company.
According to the source: “Yes, it is true that the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company limited is set to commence the refining of petroleum products. The production will start within the next 14 days from now. All the production machines were since last Sunday switched on in readiness for the production.
“I also want to inform you that the management has received crude oil for that purpose this week Monday. For over two years now we have not received crude oil as it was being sent to foreign refineries from where they were been imported back to the country as refined products.
“This started soon after the alleged planned privatization of the refineries by the immediate past administration which was also said to have targeted the sales to its selected cronies thereby placing the workers of the refining and petrochemical company on permanent state of redundancy for the past two years,” he added.
The source also alleged that minor turnaround maintenance was being carried out by those who had been allocated the refinery but was immediately put on hold soon after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the presidential election.
It was however gathered that technical staff of the company who have been idle are already on hand, anxiously warming up to resume production as the management is determined and working hard to ensure that the anticipated two-week target is met.
NNPC has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt, and one each in Kaduna and Warri. The refineries have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day. A comprehensive network of pipelines and depots strategically located throughout Nigeria link these refineries.
Meanwhile, 11 ships laden with petroleum products and other items have arrived Lagos Ports and waiting to berth.
This, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was contained in a daily publication of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)- Shipping Position, made available in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to the document, three of the ships are waiting to discharge petrol, while two are loaded with fresh fish, base oil, aviation fuel, bulk sugar and crude palm oil.
The report also indicated that 36 other ships were being expected at the ports from June 16 to June 30, noting that the ships were laden with petrol, diesel, kerosene, fresh fish, general cargo, buckwheat, containers and steel products, adding that the other items on board were bulk clinker, ethanol, bulk sugar, buthane gas and base oil.
The publication also explained that 22 other ships laden with diesel, base oil, fertiliser, buckwheat, bulk rice, gypsum, truck, buthane container, fresh fish and bulk sugar are presently discharging at the ports.