As part of efforts aimed at bringing the persistent fuel scarcity in the country to an end, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that the Port Harcourt refinery is expected to begin production of five million litres of petrol by July after rehabilitating its functionality to 80 per cent capacity.
Group managing director of the corporation, Engr. Joseph Dawha, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday after a routine inspection of the NNPC’s mega filling stations in Abuja, said the development follows the completion of the Turn Around Maintenance(TAM) of the refinery which would help boost fuel availability.
He also disclosed that the phased TAM for other refineries would be completed within 18 months period, adding that presently, the NNPC has about 1.1 billion litres of fuel which is sufficient to cover for 27 days at a daily consumption level of 40 million litres.
“The Port Harcourt refinery which has reached advanced stage will start receiving crude by the end of this month and start contributing to the availability of products in the country.
“ At the end of 18 months, most of the refineries would have been rehabilitated to a certain level whereby they can actually process crude optimally and make contributions to products availability in the country,” he said.
Dawha added that as a supplier of last resort, the NNPC is presently the only importer of fuel into the country while expressing the hope that other oil marketers would resume import as soon as issues were resolved between them and the federal government.
“In the last five days we have brought 428 trucks of petrol, averaging 85 per cent trucks daily to address the petrol requirement in Abuja and its immediate environs,” he said, adding that arising from the meeting with other stakeholders recently, the NNPC and its downstream subsidiary Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) was committed to ending fuel queues across the country soon.
Also speaking, the PPMC managing director, Haruna Momoh, who renewed appeal against pipeline vandalism said, “We have a robust pipeline network yet we cannot pump products through the pipelines. We have the products but need the distribution network to efficiently put the products in the filling stations.”