Refineries shut for 15 straight months, lose N152.08bn

Published January 26, 2021

’ Femi Asu
The nation ’ s refineries lost a total of N 152. 08 bn in 15 consecutive months of being idle, the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have shown .
Analysis of data collated from NNPC monthly reports revealed that all the refineries did not refine crude oil from July 2019 to September 2020 .
The refineries, which are located in Port Harcourt , Kaduna and Warri , have a combined installed capacity of 445 ,000 barrels per day but have continued to operate far below the installed capacity .
The country relies largely on importation of refined petroleum products as its refineries have remained in a state of disrepair for many years despite several reported repairs .
In 2019 , Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company only processed crude in one month, June; Port Harcourt Refining Company in two months ( February and March); and Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company in four months ( January, February , March and May ) .
The Kaduna refinery incurred an operating deficit of N 57 . 99 bn from July 2019 to September 2020 , according to the NNPC data .
Port Harcourt refinery lost N 48 . 99 bn in the period under review while the Warri refinery lost N 45 . 10 bn .
The NNPC said in its latest monthly report that the declining operational performance of the refineries ‘ is attributable to ongoing revamping of the refineries, which is expected to further enhance capacity utilization once completed ’ .
The Group Managing Director , NNPC , Mallam Mele Kyari , has reiterated its plan to revamp the refineries and end fuel importation by 2023 .
Bloomberg reported on January 15 that a year after shutting down all of its dilapidated refineries to figure out how to fix them , Nigeria still could not say how much it would cost to do the work or where the money would come from .
According to the report , the NNPC said it had finished the appraisal of its largest facility , but hadn ’t completed the process at two others .
The international news agency quoted refining experts as saying that the extended halt meant the plants were at risk of rotting away and unlikely to restart on time .
It noted that the NNPC had totally shut all three plants down by January 2020 to do a comprehensive appraisal , and set the ambitious target of having them all back up and running at 90 per cent of capacity by 2023 .
The NNPC spokesman, Dr Kennie Obateru , was quoted as saying that the appraisal of the 210, 000 -bpd Port Harcourt refinery had been completed and the NNPC had called for bids for the necessary repairs .
“ It is when we close the bids , everything is analysed and presented that we will know how much we need ,” he said.
He said the diagnosis was underway at the 125 , 000 bpd Warri facility and should be complete before the end of the year , adding that after that , the study of the 110 ,000 bpd Kaduna plant would commence.

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