Consequent upon attacks and agitations by militants in the Niger Delta region, and against the challenges in moving crude oil from South-South to Kaduna refinery, the Presidency has turned to Niger Republic for supply of the commodities to bring the refinery into full operation.
Last week, Elombah.com reported how the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is set to construct 1,000 kilometres of pipeline from Agadam, Niger Republic, to supply crude oil to Kaduna refinery.
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, had made the disclosure to newsmen.
He made the disclosure during a visit to the Kaduna Refinery Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC) in Kaduna.
According to him, “Due to challenges with the aged refinery and crude oil pipelines that had been breached severally, the operations of the refinery has been epileptic.
“This we are determined to resolve through various intervention methods, including evaluation of alternative crude oil supply from Niger Republic.
“That effort is being championed by Mr. President himself.”
Baru said high-level contacts have been made with the Niger Republic on the possibility of importing crude from the country.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has made several contacts with the President of Niger Republic.
“We are talking with Niger Ministry of petroleum. We are also talking with the Chinese Company operating in Agadam.
Baru said some investors have shown interest to build another refinery of 50,000 barrels per day capacity.
“We are convincing them to come and build side by side with the refinery.
“The intention is to build around Kano but we think there is a greater synergy to what I have seen here.
“I am more convinced they will benefit from some of the utilities of Kaduna refinery,” Baru said.
He said: “It was important to explore alternative crude supply to KRPC, which has been affected by vandalism of pipelines and obsolescence, assuring that the initiative will reduce downtime of the plant and ensure optimal utilisation.
“The Corporation has already started engagements with the Nigerien Minister of Petroleum and the Chinese that are operating the field at Agadem (The Agadem Block is located in the East Niger Rift Basin)
Baru, pledges to drive the energy supply project to power industries in Kaduna by ensuring the completion of the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline.
On his part, Managing Director of KRPC, Malam Idi Mukhtar, said the Fluid Cracking Catalytic Unit (FCCU) of the plant was re-streamed in June.
“The Kerosene Hydrotreating Unit (KHU) rehabilitation is ongoing with the equipment overhaul and integrity checks.
“When operational the margin of value addition on kerosene and Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) will provide millions of naira in revenue, even at a throughput of 60 per cent,” Mukhtar assured.
It would be recalled that the refinery was designed to process both imported paraffinic and Nigerian crude oils into fuels and lubes products.
It was constructed by Chiyoda Chemical Engineering and Construction Company (now Chiyoda Corporation) of Japan.
In December 1986, the design capacity of the fuels plants of the Refinery was successfully debottlenecked from 50,000 barrels per stream day (BPSD) to 60,000 BPSD, bringing the total refinery installed capacity to 110,000 BPSD.
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