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Kaduna refinery restarts production

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company, owner of the Kaduna refinery, a facility which has the capacity to refine 110 000 bpd of crude oil, recently restarted production after it was closed for four months for repairs.

The Managing Director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, said that the plant had come back on stream ahead of the December deadline for Nigeria’s four refineries to return to full production.

Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue said that the Kaduna plant, which is currently undergoing a test run of its production lines, is expected to start trucking petrol by the last week of December 2015.

While premium motor spirit (PMS), or petrol, should be available for trucking by the end of the final week in December. The refinery is expected to produce an average of about 1.6 million l/d once in full operation, Nnamdi-Ogbue said.

Before its closure in September, the Kaduna refinery had stopped working for a majority of the year, except briefly in July and August, when its utilisation capacity dropped to about 2.6% and 10.5% respectively, according to the NNPC monthly operational report for October 2015.

On 18 December 2015, Nnamdi-Ogbue said that production would resume in other refineries, including the 210 000 bpd capacity Port Harcourt refinery that has been shutdown since October and the 125 000 bpd capacity Warri refinery, which has been closed since September, also for repairs. This is all according to the proposed resumption timeline that expects to see all four refineries come back on before the end of the year in 2016.

The restart of production at the Kaduna refinery is positive news for Nigerians, who have endured weeks of scarcity of petroleum products. Part of the problem is because the PPMC is the sole importer and supplier for 100% of the average 40 million l/d national fuel consumption capacity. This is because none of the major or independent oil marketers are involved in the fuel importation or supply roles in the country at the moment. Before now, the PPMC and other oil marketers used to split the responsibility of importing fuel at the ratio of 52:48.

But, with the backlog of unpaid fuel subsidy and accumulated foreign exchange differential, the oil marketers had opted out of further importation, leaving it to the PPMC.

Edited from various sources by Francesca Brindle

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