Mr Emeka Offor, Executive Chairman, Chrome Oil Services, says importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) would drop by about 40 per cent when critical unit of the Port-Harcourt refinery begins operation.
Offor gave the assurance while speaking with energy correspondents on Sunday in Lagos.
He said the critical constituent of the refinery; the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) would become functional next week.
The FCCU is where Vacuum Gas Oil (VGO) and Heavy Diesel Oil (HDO) are cracked to obtain more valuable products.
Such products include FCC gasoline used as PMS blend and Light Cycle as blend component for Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Offor confirmed that the restoration work at the FCC had reached 98 per cent conclusion and would come on stream before end of the week.
“Hope of petroleum products supply stability is about to be accomplished as we at Chrome Oil Services company, the major contractors handling key rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery will complete work on the FCCU.
“The FCCU is about 98 per cent completed and we are hopeful that by next week it will be completed, and it will reduce 40 per cent on Federal Government importation of refined products.
“The company is among other contractors carrying out overhaul of the facility as government takes giant steps to revamp the country’s four refineries in a bid to address the lingering fuel scarcity,’’ he said.
The company’s chairman assured Nigerians that when it becomes fully operational, the unit would concentrate on the production of petrol which would also go a long way to reduce importation.
He added that it would then resolve the lengthened petrol scarcity.
Offor said that lack of Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM) of the existing refineries in the country had contributed to the perennial fuel scarcity.
“Over time, the refineries are working but below installed capacity, the last TAM was done in 2000 and this is an exercise that should be carried out every two years.
“The inability of the refineries to refine at full capacity further complicated the fuel supply situation across major cities in the country,’’ he said.
Offor attributed the problem to pipeline vandalism, an infrastructure which transports crude oil to the refineries and lack of TAM to sustain product refining.
“We have outstandingly provided urgent situation repair work at both Kaduna and Port-Harcourt refineries.
“The vital technical and engineering services we have turned to have guaranteed the continuous running of those refineries to make sure they are not totally grounded,’’ he said.
He said that over the years there had been tremendous inroads into the oil and gas industry through servicing of refineries, petrochemical plants and rehabilitation of jetties, tanks and installation of oil and gas facilities.
“All these culminated in the award of the TAM contract of both the old and the new Port-Harcourt Refineries in Nigeria to Chrome Consortium.
Chrome is a consortium of firms headed by Chrome Oil Services – the first indigenous oil service firm to execute such a project.
He said that with strategic alliances, joint ventures and consortiums with major international engineering and construction companies,
Chrome Oil Services was poised to become a vital contributor to Nigeria’s infrastructure.
NAN reports that the old refinery was commissioned in 1965 with current nameplate capacity of 60,000 barrels per stream day (bpd).
The new refinery which commissioned in 1989 with an installed capacity of 150,000 bpd brings the combined crude processing capacity of the Port-Harcourt Refinery to 210,000 bpd.
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