Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu, on Thursday said Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) would resume production in November, 2015.
Speaking during his official visit to the WRPC in Ekpan, near Warri in Delta State, Kachikwu said that the refinery stopped production temporarily to enable the authorities to carry out maintenance on some of its facilities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that production of petroleum products resumed at the refinery about a month ago after it was shut down for more than one year but was stopped two weeks ago for the maintenance. Some reports have said that the refinery was shut due to shortage of crude oil supply but Kachikwu said it was not so.
“WRPC was not shut down because of lack of crude oil supply nor 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 serious maintenance has been done on the plants,” he said.
He said that refineries in the country would henceforth be given serious attention, especially in the area of consistent maintenance to enhance productivity, adding that the facilities had “funding, contracting time and emergency proceedings” challenges.
“There is a clear cut focus on the refineries to ensure that 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,” he said.
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