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P’Harcourt, Warri refineries begin crude production – NNPC

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has announced the successful re-streaming of the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries after nine months of phased rehabilitation conducted by its in-house engineers and technicians.

The national oil company made the announcement on Wednesday through a statement.

It said the plants had commenced preliminary production of petroleum products after successful test-runs, noting that while the Port Harcourt Refining Company was ramping up capacity to about 60 per cent of the 210,000 barrels per day of crude capacity, production from the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company had been projected to hit 80 per cent of its installed capacity 125,000 bpd.

According to the NNPC, the Port Harcourt refinery will have a product yield of five million litres of petrol per day, while the Warri refinery will contribute 3.5 million litres of petrol to the local refining capacity.

Providing insight into the rehabilitation of the plants, the NNPC noted that it had to adopt the phased rehabilitation approach after the original builders of the refineries, who were initially contacted for the turnaround maintenance of the plants, came up with unfavourable terms.

“Though a decision was taken in 2011 to rehabilitate all the refineries using the original refinery builder of each of the refineries, we were impelled to switch strategy after the ORBs declined participation and nominated some partners in their stead, who came up with outrageously unfavourable terms,” it explained.

The corporation stated that the nominated partners, as sole bidders, came up with humongous price offers after two years of thorough and exhaustive scope of work definition and negotiations, adding that the proxies were also unwilling to provide post rehabilitation performance guarantees.

“The phased rehabilitation strategy, which 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, also involved the use of Original Equipment Manufacturer representatives to effect major equipment overhaul and rehabilitation,” it added.

The NNPC also noted that the phased rehabilitation programme, which commenced in October 2014 after the required funding stream was established, created a 70 per cent reduction in costs, which helped largely in mitigating the financing challenges of the rehabilitation.

It said that with the successful re-streaming of the PHRC and WRPC, attention had now shifted to the 110,000 barrels per day Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, which is billed to come on stream soon.

In a related development, the NNPC has said that it has successfully recovered the System 2B Pipeline, which was breached last week in Arepo, Ogun State.

The corporation stated that its team of engineers deployed in the scene immediately after the pipeline was vandalised, was able to access the pipeline after the fire had put out the ensuing fire and commenced repair work immediately.

It added, “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 the successful completion of repair works 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.”

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