End to fuel scarcity in sight, as escravos pipeline comes alive
• Govt Woos Investors On refineries
The resuscitation of the Escravos-Warri-pipeline has given fresh hope of early end to long queues at fuel stations across the country.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated this while re-commissioning the Escravos-Warri-Kaduna pipeline, stressing that both Warri and Kaduna refineries are now receiving crude simultaneously for the first time in many years.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammad, in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, quoted Kachikwu as saying that Warri is now working, while Kaduna will start production at the end of the month.
The Minister noted that this means that for the first time in many years, all the three refineries and major crude pipelines will be working at the same time.
Kachikwu stated that the Escravos terminal is the heartbeat of the downstream sector of the industry and critical to local supply of finished petroleum products, as both refineries in Warri and Kaduna are mainly fed from Escravos crude stock.
“The challenge of this country is the challenge of focus and stewardship. For the first time in many years, the three refineries are going to be working, and it will help in a great deal with the issue of fuel supply and distribution across the country, and it will go a long way to manage the fuel crisis,” Kachikwu said.
He enjoined Nigerians to be patient as the Corporation is working hard to end fuel shortage across the country.
“I appreciate the patience of Nigerians and I am committed and focused to making petrol available to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria,” the Minister added.
Meanwhile, Kachikwu has disclosed that the Federal Government has invited firms to invest in the country’s refineries in a bid to enhance domestic production capacity.
During a tour of the Port Harcourt refinery, yesterday, he explained that the investors are not coming to run the refineries, but are only going to provide funds to take performance to 90 per cent and provide the country with technical skills.
“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 capacity. So, we need to upgrade these refineries and let them develop to the point where they can perform up to 90 per cent,” he said.
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