By Edith Ike-Eboh
#TrackNigeria: The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says the country’s refineries are not too old for effective refining operations.
Mr Kragha Anibor, NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Refineries disclosed this at a panel session at the ongoing Nigerian International Petroleum summit (NIPS), on Wednesday, in Abuja.
The panel discussed the topic “Refining, Transportation and petrochemical”.
He said that the major problem of the corporation to bring the refineries to work was funding adding that government had continued to ensure the best way to manage the refineries.
He said that government would not sell off the refineries without putting them in a shape that financiers would be able to come in to fund the revamping for them to operate optimally.
He said that the Port Harcourt refinery had its last Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) in 2000, Warri in 2004 and Kaduna in 2008.
He said that government would continue to ensure adequate and best agreement with investors for the refineries to ensure the best for the industry.
Commenting on the growing refining gap, he said that the Nation’s fuel needs would be 45 million litres per day by 2025.
He projected that when the refineries are in good shape they will be producing about 22.5 million litres per day.
He added that Dangote refinery coming on stream would be producing about 53 million litres per day which when added to the one from our refineries would be over the daily needs of the country.
He assured that efforts were on to ensure that Port Harcourt refinery would be up and running by 2020.
“We have contacted the original builders and they will soon come to start work,” he said.
But in his comment, Mr Chidi Izuwah, the Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), said that concessioning the refineries was the best way to get them working.
He said that the NNPC must embrace full concession model to tackle the problems with the refineries.
“The government must play the role in bringing the private sector in the downstream to help the country benefit from the oil and gas sector,” he said.
Also, Mr Bankole Soyode of the Dangote group said that refining was not a big thing for Nigeria adding that the NNPC must find a way to get the refineries working.
He said that the corporation must reactivate, upgrade, follow the industry standard, add new technology to help the nation make money from the refineries.
He said that there was nothing extraordinary with the Dangote refinery producing 650,000 barrel of oil per day as the nation in the 1970s had produced 1,000,000 barrel per day.
In his comment, Mr Emmanuel Iheanacho, Chairman Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, said that viable refineries would help to add value to development in Nigeria.
He said that there was urgent need to address the imbalance in the system and find a way to advance local refining.
“We need to use technology for refining, price regulation is also very important issue to look into,” he added.
Also, Mr Huub Stillman, Chief Executive Officer, OVH Energy Marketing, said that Nigeria was one of the few OPEC members without efficient refineries.
“Nigeria with its location, population must have a refinery that is working efficiently.
“Activities on revamping the existing refineries are a good one, you have to sustain it, and you need to develop skills for maintenance.
“You must ensure that whether it is modular or main refinery, they must produce clean fuel and must be built to operate at 90 per cent capacity and be competitive.
“With that, the country will make money out of it,” he said (NAN)