Activities for the resuscitation of Port Harcourt Refinery will commence Friday as the Federal Government is expected to receive the technical and commercial proposal for its turn around maintenance (TAM).
The Group Executive Director, Refining and Petrochemicals, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Tony Ogbuigwe, said the schedule for the TAM of the refinery has been firmed up.
He stated this in Port Harcourt Wednesday in a keynote address he presented at the international conference on petroleum refining and petrochemicals organised by the University of Port Harcourt and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), with the theme: Sustainable Refinery Turn around Maintenance.
Ogbuigwe said the evaluation of the proposal would follow immediately and while the contract would be awarded by October.
According to him, the contractors would move to site immediately in October and commence detailed planning and mobilisation of manpower and heavy equipment that would be expected to last for about four months.
He explained that the plant would be shut down in February 2013 and handed over to the contractor for the turn maintenance to be executed in about 45 days.
He expressed optimism that the country's biggest refinery, with installed crude oil processing capacity of 210,000 barrels per day, should be back in operation by April 2013.
Ogbuigwe said already a new captive power supply through gas turbine by an independent power provider has been concluded and a power purchase agreement signed.
According to him, the supply of power to the refinery would commence by March, 2013 in time to re-stream the plant turn around maintenance.
He expressed optimism that with the planned TAM on Warri and Kaduna refineries next year, three refineries would at 90 per cent installed capacity and the daily production of petroleum products would be expected to improve to 20.3 million, 9.24 million and 15.36 million litres of premium motor spirit, kerosene and automotive gas oil respectively.
He however expressed concern over the upsurge of crude oil theft in the sector, explaining that about 20 per cent of crude oil allocated to the refineries was stolen while the revenue lost as a result was "significant".
He called on communities and other stakeholders to assist in checking the trend to avoid its effects on the nation's economy.
According to him, "To do nothing means to mortgage our future and that of our children yet unborn and continue to subject our beloved nation Nigeria to continued importation of petroleum products at huge cost and drain to our scarce foreign exchange. We appeal to communities in the affected areas to rise up against these miscreants. To do nothing is not an option. It is our collective wealth and honour that is being besieged."
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has said that as at April this year, a total of N128.21 billion has been verified as premium motor spirit subsidy claims compared to the sum of N433.75 billion paid in April of last year.
PPPRA Executive Secretary, Mr. Reginald Stanley, in his own presentation, said Nigeria would not be able to sustain the increasing annual subsidy burden as over two trillion Naira was expended on products subsidy in 2011 alone.
The amount, he pointed out, was 55 per cent more than the 2011 capital budget expenditure.
Stanley however said the initiatives put in place since December 2011 by the Federal Government were beginning to yield positive results in terms of subsidy paid and quantities of products supplied.
According to him, "In terms of quantity, the average daily provisional premium motor spirit supply of 35.14 million litres per day was recorded as at April 2012. This is 41.34 per cent lower than the premium motor spirit daily supply of 59.91 million litres per day for the year 2011.
"Similarly, as at 2012 a total sum of N128.21 billion was verified as premium subsidy claims. However as at April 2011, a total sum N433.73 billion was paid as premium motor spirit subsidy indicating a higher percentage of 70.44 per cent."