Fuel importation to continue despite revival of refineries —Kachikwu

Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 28 December 2015 | 3,471 times

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Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, on Sunday said Nigeria will continue to import fuel in 2016 and beyond, despite ‎the coming on stream of the nation’s refineries.

The minister had said that Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri refineries will be in full capacity in the first quarter of 2016. According to him, Kaduna is already producing about 1.5 million litres a day, while Port Harcourt will commence production of about 2 million litres a by next week and Warri is expected to start early next year.

Speaking when he visited the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical ‎Company Kachikwu said: “We are still going to be importing, even if you are in hundred percent capacity production of about 445,000 barrels capacity for the plant you will still be doing less than 2 million litres, consumption is even at best with all we have done it is still 50 percent.

“So until we begin to get individuals who can co-relocate new refineries within the premises of existing refineries to expand the capacity, that's the best way to go. And that is the only way we are going to be committed to it.

“We are looking for investors who have the capacity, the speed and the time to be able to accomplish on that. But until we do that, ‎we are going to be doing a mixture.

“Best case situation is a twenty five to forty percent of local production and the rest being imported, worst case situation is what we have seen in the last few months of hundred percent importation.”

The minister also said that he directed the refineries to look at the commercial view of their plants in to use every arm of the refinery to generate profit.

“A typical refinery will look at their looms, the petrochemical areas, will look at their power areas and see how they can probably expand the value chain and the potentials, that’s certainly what we are looking at,” Kachikwu explained.

He expressed confidence that the queues in the filling station will end in next two weeks, noting: “Some of these factors are not in anybody’s control, one of the thing I want people to understand is that NNPC is not setup to be a hundred percent importer for the country.

“We are a last intervention force, that is what we are and this business should be run by marketers who make money out of it‎, bringing their products, selling their stations. It is not the business of NNPC really to be providing them hundred percent capacity but because there was over one year delay in payment subsidy.

“Because of the excess challenges that marketers have had, NNPC has had to ramp up on the 40 percent to about 80 percent capacity right now. And with that comes also the responsibility in terms of distribution, in terms of clearing and other related issues.

“And bad pipelines are not exactly helping matters; ‎so it has been a huge amount of work we have had to do in the last nine weeks just keeping people on the roads. I personally never had window of three hours to sleep over that period. Now we have been able to clear some of them but there is still a lot more work to be done.”

•Photo shows Kachikwu.

Source: News Express

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