By NBF News
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WORRIED by the inability of previous Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) to return the four refineries in the country to full capacity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) plans to invite the original builders of

Eleme Petrol-Chemical refinery to execute its next TAM for durability.

Group Managing Director, NNPC, Austen Oniwon, who stated this in Abuja

yesterday at the opening ceremony for 266 middle cadre workers for the Chief

Officers' Management Development Programme (COMDP), added that the NNPC was determined to make the refineries work at full capacities to reduce importation of petroleum products.

The NNPC chief posited that the current stability in the supply of products could not be sustained on the long term, hence the need to rejuvenate local refineries.

'The refineries must therefore work on a continuous basis, thus reducing imports

significantly. In pursuance of this, the management is currently involved in

discussions with the original EPC contractors with a view to carrying out

rehabilitation works aimed at restoring the refineries to their original design

capacities,' he said.
Oniwon submitted that the initiative would lead to the desirable result of improving on the refineries' contribution to the national petroleum product needs.

Oniwon, who told the intending COMDP course participants to engage in research that would complement the country's liberalisation efforts in the downstream sector, added that the issue of petroleum subsidy 'is both a challenge and a burden and will continue to be until the downstream sector is fully deregulated.'

While the market is still regulated, he said that the country would, in the

interim, map out strategies that would enable it have better control of the cost

drivers in the area of operations by sustaining ongoing efforts at reducing

operating expenditure particularly demurrage and pipeline/ jetty losses.

As part of the strategies to foster the needed growth in the midstream and

downstream businesses, he said that the NNPC has embarked on massive development of the Brass and OK LNG projects, and the establishment of three Greenfield refineries to boost local production.

Besides, he noted that the corporation was also working toward getting regular

supply of gas to existing power plants across the country as well as engaging in

active collaboration with major petrochemical or fertiliser manufacturers for the establishment of world-class petrochemical cum fertiliser plants.

He added that the NNPC was exploring the possibility of additional hydrocarbon reserves in the inland basins with initial focus on the Chad Basin to boost operation in the upstream sector.

The NNPC helmsman also said that the priority of the current management of NNPC is to grow the National Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) into becoming an active player in the oil and gas industry.

His words: 'It is also the priority of the current NNPC leadership to grow NPDC

to become a major player in the Nigerian oil and gas industry within the decade

by increasing its crude oil/gas reserves and production. This is already being

done through a combination of organic (existing asset optimisation) growth