NNPC restarts refineries, resumes production of diesel, kerosine

Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) subsidiaries Port Harcourt Refining Co Ltd. (PHRC), Warri Refining & Petrochemcial Co. Ltd. (WRPC), and Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (KRPC) have restarted operations and resumed stable production of diesel and kerosine at the country’s four state-owned refineries as part of NNPC’s commitment to meet Nigeria’s growing demand for finished fuels (OGJ, Jan. 2, 2017, p. 55).

On Jan. 11, NNPC said it expects output from the refineries to make up for intermittent fuel-supply shortfalls recently experienced in some parts of Nigeria.

Alongside ongoing production from its refineries, NNPC also has made arrangements for additional imports of gasoline, diesel, and kerosine from abroad as a measure to sustain availability of finished products across the country, the state-owned company said.

WRPC restarted the crude distillation unit at its 125,000-b/sd refinery in Warri, Delta State, on Jan. 7, according to Solomon Ladenegan, WRPC’s managing director.

The Warri refinery currently is producing 3 million l./day of diesel and 2 million l./day of kerosine, which already is pumping to fellow NNPC subsidiary Pipelines & Product Marketing Co. Ltd. for storage and distribution to market, Ladenegan said.

At the Port Harcourt refining complex in Rivers State—which includes a 60,000-b/sd hydroskimming refinery and 150,000-b/sd full-conversion refinery—PHRC is producing 3 million l./day of diesel in addition to a daily kersoine output that averages in the “millions” of liters, said Bafred Enjugu, PHRC’s managing director.

In addition to diesel and kersoine, Enjugu confirmed PHRC officially has started production of aviation turbine fuel at the complex’s recently rehabilitated hydroskimming plant.

While NNPC confirmed KRPC also has resumed operations and production of finished fuels at its 110,000-b/sd refinery in Kaduna State, the state-owned operator disclosed no details regarding daily production rates for diesel and kerosine at the site.

Ongoing rehabilitation

NNPC’s announcement of the operational restarts follows a series of recent initiatives by the company to aggressively advance its rehabilitation-and-expansion program at Nigeria’s state-owned refineries in order to meet the country’s domestic demand for fuels and curb its reliance on foreign imports (OGJ Online, Dec. 21, 2016).

By yearend, NNPC said it plans to boost capacity utilization to 60% at its refineries, with a utilization target of 80% by yearend 2018, the company said.

Total domestic refinery utilization rates at Nigerian refineries during the last decade have yet to exceed 20%, mainly as a result of massive bouts of downtime due to feedstock interruptions caused by militant attacks on crude pipelines supplying the processing sites.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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