NNPC refineries resume production to end Kerosene, Diesel scarcity

As Nigerians groan over the scarcity of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) otherwise known as kerosene which has resulted in the product being sold for as high as N500 per litre as against the official pump price of N150, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said its three refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri have resumed production kerosene and of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), otherwise known as diesel.

NNPC, in a statement issued by Group General Manager, Ndu Ughamadu on Thursday explained that the resumption of refining of AGO and DPK is expected to balance the “disequilibrium in demand and supply of the white products being experienced in recent times in parts of the Country”.

Speaking on the production level of the Warri refinery, the Managing Director of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), Engr. Solomon Ladenegan, was quoted as saying the plant had been doing well since the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) was revved up on Saturday, 7 January, 2017.

Ladenegan said the refinery resumed production last Saturday at about 10:22hrs, with the plant’s CDU functioning.

The refinery MD stated that the plant now refines 2 million litres of kerosene and 3 million litres of diesel daily.

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“This morning (Wednesday), we have pumped the products to PPMC and they have started loading. They are going to load up to 1 million litres of DPK and AGO. The products are there in the tank and we are doing everything to get them to the market,” Engr. Ladenegan disclosed.

On his part, the Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), Dr Bafred Enjugu, was quoted as saying Port Harcourt Refinery was producing 3 million litres of AGO daily, in addition to millions of DPK being churned out by the refinery daily.

Enjugu enthused that his operators were thrilled having rehabilitated the old Port Harcourt Refinery where production of AGO was being carried out by themselves without foreign expertise deployment.

The statement added: “Meanwhile, the Kaduna Refinery has also roared into action, producing millions of litres of white products to ease out the situation in supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide”.

An independent marketer, Alhaji Abubakar Usman Yahaya, of Yamoyus Nigeria Ltd who was at the PHRC Depot for loading, described the refinery and the depot environment as positive, affirming that he and his co-marketers had access to PMS, AGO and DPK in sufficient quantities.

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“I think this is because the refinery has started working”, Alhaji Yahaya stated.

Beside the products from the refineries, NNPC said it has made arrangements for additional supply intervention through direct import of PMS, AGO and DPK to sustain products availability across the country.

Currently, many Nigerians have been groaning over the scarcity of kerosene and its attendant high price where it is available.

Checks by The DailyBells Nigeria revealed that the product now sells for between N300 and N500 per litre at few filling stations that have the product as against the official pump price of N150.

Condemning the hike in price, many Nigerians said the situation had put them into more difficulties as they resort to cooking with firewood and charcoal.

A widow, Mrs Stella Ezema, said the situation was bad as she would manage to buy food items but getting kerosene to cook it for her children has become a problem.

“I have not seen this kind of situation before where you will have food items in the house but what to cook them with becomes a problem.

“Because of the high cost of kerosene, the prices of firewood and charcoal have also doubled as the quantity of firewood we used to buy for N250 now sells for N500.

“As a result of this high cost of kerosene, I now avoid cooking food like beans that last long even though my children like eating beans,’’ she said.

Mrs Ijeoma Amadi, a trader, urged the Federal Government to quickly restore the pump price considering that it was what poor people use to cook and light their hurricane lamps at night.

“Everybody knows that with the economic recession in the country, things are hard but this astronomical increase in the price of kerosene has added to the suffering of the poor.

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