The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, may have concluded plans to start importing crude oil from Chad and Niger Republic to feed its Kaduna Refinery in order to address constant shortages at the refinery due to the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.
Aside from importing from Chad and Niger, the NNPC is also said to be considering the option of moving crude from the Niger Delta to Kaduna by rail.
According to a top official of the NNPC, the corporation might refit the Kaduna refinery to be able to process Nigerien and Chadian crude grades, following the incessant attacks on the pipelines that feed the plant with Nigerian Bonny Light crude.This, according to him, is because the refinery was originally designed to process Nigerian crude and foreign heavy crude at the ratio of about 70:30.
“The original design capacity was 60,000 barrels per day of light crude. So in order to process paraffinic based crude oil from Venezuela, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, the capacity was later increased to 110,000bpd.
“So apart from having the capacity to refine Bonny Light, the plant can also process heavy crude oil from Kuwait, Lagomar crude from Venezuela, Arabian Light from Saudi Arabia and Urals from Russia.
“But for it to refine crude from Chad or Niger, the plant requires some form of refitting so that it can use crude specification from those countries as well. The refitting does not involve complex technology,” he explained.
This development was confirmed by the Public Affairs Manager of KRPC, Mr. Idris Abdullahi, who said importation and use of rail were being considered.
“We will choose from the two options but it depends on the financial viability. The refinery had rail lines right from inception. The rail lines were used to bring in materials and equipment during its construction.
“They have never been used to transport crude to the refineries. We get crude from Warri through the pipelines. But we are now thinking of using the lines to bring in crude from the Niger Delta because of the vandalism of the pipelines.
“The second option being considered is importation from Niger and Chad. We are considering the two options and the option we will choose will depend on the viability,” Abdullahi explained.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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