There is a bit of good news in the face of the current fuel scarcity which has lingered for so long as GMD of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, announced yesterday that the Port Harcourt Refining Company has started producing fuel.
In his statement while reopening the Bonny-Port Harcourt crude pipeline, Kachikwu said that the Port Harcourt Refining Company and the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company are now producing a combined volume of seven million litres of petrol daily with PHRC producing five million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol and WRPC producing two million litres of the product daily.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources reiterated the government’s commitment to clearing the long queues that have assailed filling stations for a while now and noted that the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company was also scheduled to start production any moment from now.
“Port Harcourt is back in production; Warri is back in production; Kaduna, as of today, is receiving crude and will soon be back in production. Lagos is easing off now from fuel scarcity and Abuja is doing the same thing; and once Kaduna begins production, the North will see a lot of improvement,” Kachikwu stated.
Kachikwu also made known that NNPC has recovered Escravos to Warri and Bonny to Port Harcourt crude supply pipelines from oil bunkers, stressing that they were critical to the downstream oil sector and further stated that investors have come in to ensure smooth management of the refineries as a commercial governance model system had been introduced.
“What we have done is to find a very creative way of bringing investors who will come in, work with our team here who have the skills, reactivate and upgrade facilities in these refineries.
“The investors will also help us to provide technical support and they will be paid through the flow out of refined products over a period of time, which is why we have also changed the refining model such that the refineries pay for their crude, so it goes into the Federation Account.”
Insisting that the government has no intention of selling the refineries contrary to claims in some quarters, Kachikwu added that the refineries would sell their products to both the Nigerian Petroleum Marketing Company and the marketers.
“We are not inviting foreign partners to take over the refineries; we do not have the funds. Even now that they are working, they are probably working at about 60 per cent or below capacity; so, you need to upgrade these refineries and get them to a level where they will operate at 90 per cent capacity or more,” the minister said.
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