The 125,000 barrel per day (bpd) Warri refinery has been shut down by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) after gas turbine generators that supply power to the plant tripped off.
The refinery had only in January resumed production after its Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) was revved up allowing it to refine 2 million litres of kerosene and 3 million litres of diesel daily.
NNPC’s chief operating officer (COO) in charge of refineries Mr. Anibor Kragha, who confirmed the shutdown of the plant in an interview with newsmen at an oil conference in Abuja, said NNPC has mobilized power firm, General Electric (GE) to rectify the problem.
“We have shut down to make sure that we address that properly,” Kragha added but didn’t specify how long the plant will be down.
He said aside the Warri refinery; all the other plants have been running well at 60 per cent of capacity since January including the Old Port Harcourt refinery which hadn’t worked in “nine to ten years.”
Kragha said even if the refineries performed at 100 per cent capacity the country would still have to import about 50 per cent of the required national demand.
He also disclosed that the president has given approval for investors who can bring refining expertise and funding to partner with experienced Nigerian downstream firms to invest in the refineries over 24 months.
The refineries COO said the corporation is doing technical studies to actually get what it was going to cost NNPC to fix all the refineries in 2017 in order to get them to work at 90 per cent capacity by 2019.
“We have Chiyoda the original refinery builder of Kaduna and JGC who built Port Harcourt around. The idea of going with them is because they do this consistently. We expect them to open their supply access to us to enable us get parts and pricing at better rates.”