Enugu — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has concluded plans to holistically rehabilitate the three refineries in the country.
The refineries are in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per stream day.
The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mr Austin Oniwon, announced the plan in Enugu on Thursday in a message to the 'NNPC Special Day' at the 23rd Enugu International Trade Fair.
Oniwon, who was represented by the Executive Director, Port Harcourt Refinery, Mr Dominic Ikpemauzu, said the rehabilitation had become necessary to increase domestic refining and stem products importation.
The group managing director said the NNPC had engaged the services of the original engineering procurement and construction contractors who built the three refineries.
"The strategy is aimed at ensuring an effective implementation of the Turn Around Maintenance and Rehabilitation (TAMR) works of the refineries," he said.
Oniwonsaid the contractors had inspected the three refineries and produced the analyses on how the plants could be revamped to achieve 90 per cent capacity utilisation in the next two years.
"Other infrastructure being put in place by the corporation to drive the economy include the conclusion of feasibility studies on the Greenfield refineries and rehabilitation of product pipelines such as Kaduna-Kano, Kaduna-Gusau and Kaduna-Suleija.
"It should be noted that all our efforts to build facilities in the downstream sector are aimed at increasing local refining to a minimum of 60 per cent of local consumption by 2013 and 100 per cent by 2015."
Earlier in a welcome address, the President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Dr Theo Okonkwo, regretted the continued challenges in the oil and gas sector, especially in the importation and supply of products.
Okonkwoadvised the corporation to address the challenges of corruption and the problems facing full deregulation of the downstream sector.
The president, however, reiterated the support of the organised private sector toward the deregulation, hoping that it would be carried out with strategic and tactical approach to reduce negative impact on the people.
The NNPC team later inspected some stands at the fair, including the NNPC pavilion.