The Port Harcourt refinery will in the next one week begin to churn out petroleum products, such as diesel, petrol and kerosene, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of Petroleum said.
“In the next one week, we are ready to see products out of here”, Kachikwu said at the end of an inspection of the repair work on the refinery.
Kachikwu said that a lot of the rehabilitation of the refinery was being done with intensive manual labour of the staff since paucity of fund affected the holistic change that is required in the factory. He said that the refinery is now ageing so one fault comes up after the other even after repair but that would stop when government repairs the plant holistically early next year.
According to him, about 5.5million litres daily of PMS is expected from the refinery in the next few days. Other products to come from the plants, said Kachikwu “are AGO, Kero and others.
“Where we love to be is to have half of the consumption of this country at the refineries at the minimum, which is about 20million litres. But where we are with the sleepless night I have had in the last few weeks any molecule is significant.
Kaduna will still be doing 2.3million. Let’s start from there. And that is doing 60 per cent performance. This is still an assumption. I will like to see them getting closer to 80 or 90. By the time they do that, we will be getting 11 to 12million litres out of this place.”
On the security of the pipelines, he said that government had tried stopping the menace with military interventionto no avail before it engaged some privatecontractors who had worked with the majors for the crude pipeline management.
According to him, the private contractors have taken over Atlas Cove, Mosimiand they wouldbe extending the surveillance to Ilorin between yesterday and today. They will also look at the Port Harcourt and Aba axis, he stressed.
The minister said that government is now beginning to have a clue of how to tackle pipeline insecurity, adding that it is far more expensive to convey petroleum and products through pipelines than trucking them by road.
He said from the briefing he got from the inspection of the refineries , they are close to re-opening.