Port Harcourt refinery shut down over damaged equipment


Port Harcourt Refinery, the most viable of the three refineries in the country has been shut down because of damaged rotor which has affected it operations.

This means that even the three to five million litres of petrol being produced per day by the company has been stopped thereby making the country to be totally dependent on importation.

The 210,000 barrel per day refining plant which has been down for almost three weeks may come on stream very soon as the Staff and officials of the company are battling to fixed the damaged equipment through local sourcing.

The Vacuum Distillation Unit (VDU), Crude Distillation Unit (CDU), Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) are currently down and need to be fixed.

But when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was contacted over the matter, Ndu Ughamadu, group general manager Public Affairs Division of the corporation, told BusinessDay that the plant had power problems which was being promptly attended.

But sources close to the refinery dismissed the claim saying that the rotor of the plant has been badly damaged but that efforts are being made to source for the parts both within the refinery and outside, especially from Warri Refinery.

The source lamented the lack of prompt attention to the incident by the NNPC headquarters in terms of releasing the necessary fund to procure the necessary equipment.

One of the sources however told BusinessDay that it is most likely that the Vacuum Distillation Unit (VDU) may come on stream this week if things work according to plans.

The three refineries produced between five and six million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, per day in June last year with Port Harcourt Refinery producing the highest volume of about five million litres.

The other refineries are Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company located in Delta State, and the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company in Kaduna State.

The refineries also produced between five and six million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as diesel, per day in June, he said.

The consolidated operational performance of Nigeria’s three refineries based on their capacity utilisation, has been below 20 per cent.
The facilities got 445,000 barrels of crude oil on a daily basis for the 12-month period but refined less than 15 per cent of this volume on average.

Specifically, the NNPC stated that the combined capacity utilisation of the plants from January to December last year was 13.75 per cent.

Their worst performance was recorded in February after they recorded a capacity utilisation of 1.72 per cent for the month, the national oil firm said.

It stated that the refineries’ best operational delivery with respect to crude refining was in October as they posted a capacity utilisation of 23.53 per cent.

However in April this year, NNPC said production outputs from the refineries had increased by 29 percent due to peace in the Niger Delta.


Original post by http://www.businessdayonline.com/port-harcourt-refinery-shut-damaged-equipment/

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Senior Writer

Bura-Bari Nwilo lives in Port Harcourt, in Nigeria. He is the author of A Tiny Place Called Happiness – a book of stories.

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