The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will soon shut down three of its four refineries, according to the Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru.
Mr. Baru made the announcement on the sidelines of the inaugural Nigerian Pipeline Security Conference and Exhibition, stating that the purpose of the closure of the refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna was to rehabilitate and restore them to nameplate capacities.
According to him, the rehabilitation work will restore the refineries to nameplate capacities by 2019 when the country is expected to end the importation of petroleum products.
“As you know, it has been the perception of the public that the repairs of the refineries are never done thoroughly. So this time, our intention is to shut down the refineries when we are ready, and then fully bring them back to what they should be as new refineries."
“Obviously, it is going to be a complex procedure and as such, we have to break down the various work packages to ensure that all the various workforces have sufficient focus, and if you notice the time that we inaugurated eight committees on the refineries rehabilitation, the work streams are composed of the general managers and executive directors level, and they will be having a day-to-day look at it, while the steering committee is at my level and that of the chief operating officers, all looking at the problems the workstations have and they will proffer solutions immediately."
“We intend to focus on the repairs of the refineries with all that it takes to ensure that this time when we are done by 2019, these refineries will be as good as new.”
The shutdown of the refineries may not significantly affect the supply of petroleum products in the country as much of what is being consumed by Nigerians is currently being imported.
In a statement made available by Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC disclosed that Mr. Baru, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, had inaugurated eight committees to oversee the complete revamping of the refineries.
The committees included workstations for rehabilitation, stakeholder management, financing, legal, procurement, pipeline, crude oil supply and security, and staffing and succession planning.
The statement said the oil corporation had received over 28 Expressions of Interest from private funding sources for the refineries’ rehabilitation project, while more were being expected before the end of this year.
“I am convinced that the teams we have selected here today will give the necessary direction towards returning the refineries back to their optimal levels of performance," Mr. Baru said.
“We want to show everyone that we can fully run the refineries. You must all work together to operate them at 100 percent capacity as this is the only way to ensure profitability. We can fix the refineries, but without the right people to operate them, they will go back to where they were or even worse.”
The Chief Operating Officer, Refineries, and Petrochemicals, NNPC, Mr. Anibor Kragha, said the 2019 target was possible because the corporation had both the political will and the economic climate to guarantee complete rework of the refineries.
According to him, the federal government will not suffer financially from the project as the financial model approved for it will be paid from the operational profits as payment is hinged on performance.