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P’Harcourt refineries to produce 5m ltrs of petrol daily

Port Harcourt refinery.

Port Harcourt refinery.

FRESH moves by the Federal Government and other stakeholders to end the current fuel scarcity in the country may have begun, with plans by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to activate five million litres of petrol daily from the two refineries in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Besides, some oil marketers have resumed importation of petrol into the country, with Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO) discharging about 37 million litres of the commodity at a Lagos jetty at the weekend. It was learnt that NNPC and other major oil markers are placing order for more petrol to be imported into the country.

The Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Limited will this week activate all its process units to pump out petrol to make the lingering fuel scarcity subside.

Some stakeholders are nonetheless calling on the government to ensure the refineries work at full capacity, new ones are built and the downstream sector is deregulated.

The refineries start-up followed the completion of repair work at the facility’s crude distillation unit where one of the columns collapsed and compelled a shutdown of the 210, 000 barrels per day refinery.

The situation had worsened scarcity in a market that was suffering supply gaps following the withdrawal of private marketers from importation.

According to records at NNPC, the refinery experienced a major failure of its crude distillation column in October while production was on-going, a situation that resulted in a shut-down of all the process plants.

A source at the NNPC said restoration of the plant would normally have required urgent intervention from foreign experts and huge replacement costs. Parts that would have been imported are estimated at N640 million while delivery and mobilization of contractors to site would have taken several months.

With the pressing need to return to operations in the face of the prevailing fuel crisis in the country, PHRC management took the challenge directly by repairing defective parts, while utilizing over 150 host community youths in the process that conforms with existing community empowerment commitments.

The Guardian gathered that during the period, the entire workforce was mobilized and involved in the process while inspectors from sister Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) and Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) were invited for support.



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