Nigeria can't stop importing fuel-NNPC chief

By The Citizen
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Managing Direc­tor, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemi­cal Company Limited (KRPC), an arm of the Nigeria National Pe­troleum Corporation, NNPC, Engineer Saidu Aliyu Mohammed has said that even if all the refineries in Nigeria pro­duce fuel at 100 percent capacity, the country would continue to import fuel.

Speaking yesterday to declare open a workshop for energy correspondents in Kano, Mohammed said fuel importation was due to high demand by the end us­ers of the product.

He also reacted to insin­uation making the rounds in some quarters that im­ported bitumen is cheaper than the locally produced ones, saying that he was not aware of such.

In his words, 'We will continue to import fuel as long as we cannot meet the demand because it is about demand and supply. If there is no much de­mand, we will not go for the importation. Even if all the refineries work at 100 percent capacity, we can­not meet the demand of 30 million litres per day, and we should not forget that some of our neighbours also depend on Nigeria for fuel. And those complain­ing about bitumen importa­tion, it is not about whether one is cheaper than the other, anybody can buy the product from wherever he or she wishes, it is a free a market.

'In line with Mr. Presi­dent's transformation agenda, KRPC is working assiduously to bring the company to a full produc­tion capacity, move from cost to profit and self-sus­taining centre with capa­bility to grow investment, production output and revenue. 'As a result of the improved operational efficiency, KRPC has been able to sustain the plant at about 60% design capacity from January, 2014 to date.

'In this regard, major units of the fuel section of the refinery including the crude and reforming units as well as fluid catalytic cracking unit had been re-streamed to provide the desired output. These units are still operational and our desire is to raise the capac­ity utilization to 80% be­fore the end of the year. 'In order to further improve and sustain the efficiency of the refinery, major reha­bilitation works have com­menced and are at various levels of completion.