The Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, has resumed supply of crude oil pumping after suffering from pipeline fires caused by vandals at Aku, near Lokoja in Kogi State, evacuating 19,158,000 liters of kerosene.
KRPC’s Managing Director, Idi Mukhtar and his teams of experts, disclosed this Tuesday in presentations to members of the House Committee on Petroleum Downstream sector during their visit to the refinery in Kaduna on oversight function.
“There was a report of fire on pipeline supplying crude from Warri to Kaduna refinery due to activities of vandals, on a Friday, at Aku near Lokoja. The good news is that the lines have limited damages, and crude oil pumping has resumed as production continues. So, there is no initial shut down; that means, KRPC will not shut down, and pumping will start very soon, before 4 pm today,” he said.
The MD also said the major challenges currently facing the refinery are disruption of crude oil supply and activities of vandals. He said another challenge facing that the refinery is that the company is still running on analog instrumentations. “There is also the challenge of budget constraints, inadequacy and encroachment of houses into KRPC Right of Way of water line,” he said.
He added that, over 100,000 cubic liters per hour of water along water intake line gush into the plant, due to illegal tapping of the water lines. “These water tapped are not fit for human consumption,” he warned.
He said from January, 2017, to date, the KRPC has processed 24,504,000 liters of kerosene, and 19,158,000 liters has been evacuated. The scarcity of kerosene, used by millions of largely poor Nigerians for cooking, has hit major cities, causing huge increase in price.
The situation has also caused some residents to turn to alternative sources such as firewood and cooking gas. Three most affected cities are Kaduna and Zaria in Kaduna State and Calabar in Cross River State.
In Kaduna, none of the filling stations visited by our reporter on Tuesday had kerosene for sale. In one of the stations, the attendants said the scarcity began on January 2, as they got no supply from Lagos and Kaduna Refineries.
The MD, however, stated also that the refinery has also produced 69,700,000 liters of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, with 70,673,000 liters evacuated from January, 2017, to date.
Speaking also, chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Petroleum Downstream, Joseph Akinlana, described the huge importation of petroleum into the country as a shame. “It is a shame, from my point of view, to have crude oil in Nigeria and begging to import over 80% of petroleum product, when we have refining companies.”
He said the National Assembly will make law(s) against vandalization of pipelines in the country. “People, because of the situation in the country, have taken vandalization as a means of livelihood, and this should not be so,” Akinlana said.