Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, has given the management of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, WRPC, three months ultimatum to resume production or be sacked.
Kachikwu, who gave the ultimatum when he inspected the newly refurbished plant in Ekpan, said the management would have no excuse not meeting the 125,000 barrels per day because the NNPC has put everything in place to supply needed gas adding that whatever obstacles are being envisaged have been addressed.
According to him, the new date was to enable WRPC carry out temporary maintenance on some facilities explaining that the recent shutdown was due to problem from the Fluid Catalytic Cracking, FCC, unit at the plant.
“WRPC was not shut down because of lack of crude oil supply neither was crude oil not supplied because the refinery was down, the two are different things altogether. It makes no sense to supply crude oil that will be sold in the international market to refinery when it is idle”.
“The Fluid Catalytic Cracking, FCC, Unit had problem and that is why it was shut down, however, they are working assiduously on it. The reality is that for over 10 and 15 years, no real serious maintenance has been done on the plants,” he said.
Kachikwu who lamented the high level of decay, explaining that there had not been serious maintenance on the plants for about 15 years. He noted that the country’s refineries would henceforth be given serious attention especially in the area of consistent maintenance to enhance productivity.
He posited that, “There is a clear cut focus on the refineries to ensure they run consistently, we are beginning to take the refineries seriously to bring them to reliability platforms. By the end of first week of November, the WRPC will be back.”
“We will increase internal and external patrol where we have long distance pipelines like the Warri/Escravos. In the next couple of time, we are also going to have tracking device that can track whatever is happening to the pipelines. My major goal is that by October, I like to see crude oil pumped by pipelines, rather than marine vessels transferring products into the refinery.”
Kachickwu also blamed faulty transmission lines as being responsible for the gas supply into the national grid while dismissing fears that there was shortage of gas in the country.

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