Fuel shortages across the country may worsen over the coming weeks as the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) has shut down operations due to lack of crude oil.
According to the Executive Director, Services, of KRPC, Abdullahi Idris, the refinery, commissioned in 1980, was functioning at 60 per cent capacity before it was shut down two weeks ago due to the absence of crude oil.
Idris, in an email response sent to him to provide details of the company’s operations as part of a national survey on the state of the country’s refineries operated by the Nigerian, National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said the KRPC produced four million litres of petrol per day before it was shut down.
The EDS, who said the lubes and petrochemical plant of the refinery plant was commissioned in 1983 and 1988 respectively, explained that the plant was also producing 2.5 million litres of (AGO) diesel and 1.6 million litres of kerosene per day.
He maintained that the plant had undergone a turnaround maintenance (TAM) in 2013 and currently has a workforce of 1,004 staff.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, has informed the Joint National Assembly Committee on Downstream that the sudden and unnatural shock in fuel consumption to record levels has over-stretched the Direct-Sale-Direct-Supply (DSDP) crude for product supply arrangement, which was originally based on 35 million litres per day petrol consumption pattern to 55 million litres per day.
He warned that if the activities of the fuel truck diverters and smugglers were left unchecked, it would be absolutely difficult to guarantee round-the-clock availability of petrol throughout the country due to the massive leakages wrought on the fuel supply and distribution network by the smugglers.
He lamented that with the current unprecedented average daily fuel evacuation of 55 million litres since December 1, 2017 to date, it was imperative for security agencies to close-in on the smuggling syndicates who are cashing in on the petrol price differentials between Nigeria and neighbouring countries to make illicit profit.
Baru explained that apart from straining the ability of NNPC to sustain the prevailing 100 per cent petrol importation in the face of increasing cost, the current situation was impacting negatively on NNPC’s resources for servicing Joint Venture Cash Call (JVCC) and other obligations.
He said to sustain adequate supply of petroleum products and national energy security, there was need for the Federal Government to provide flush volumes in January and March 2018, as well as create enabling environment for other oil marketing companies to participate in the importation of petroleum products.
He also noted the need to double supply in order to raise the fuel sufficiency template back to the 30 days threshold from the current 15 days by bringing in at least two vessels per day for 20 days.
The NNPC GMD, however, explained that the corporation would require additional funding outside the DSDP regime to achieve this.