Kaduna Refinery Begins Oil Production 10 Months After.
More than 10 months after the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) went into comatose due to a breakdown of many of its components and as a result contributing to epileptic supply of crude oil, the plant has surged back to life, with a current production of about 60 per cent of its installed capacity.
The feat came within the first 100 days of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The KRPC, the third refinery to be built in Nigeria, was commissioned in 1980 to cope with the growing demand for petroleum products, especially in the northern part of the country
The Kaduna refinery was designed to process both Nigerian and imported crude oils into fuels and lubes products. In December 1985, the Fuels section of the refinery was successfully debottle-necked from 50,000 barrels per stream day (BPSD) to 60,000 BPSD. In March 1988, its 30,000 metric tonnes per annum Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) Petrochemical plant was commissioned. Another of its component, the Petrochemical plant, derives its entire raw materials, including utility supplies, from the refinery itself.
The objectives of KRPC are to optimize the capacities of the existing plants, reduce the plants’ operating costs, develop new products from existing facilities for use in downstream industries and extend refining services to the West African sub-region. Like other subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the KRPC is owned 100 per cent by the NNPC.
The KRPC, the biggest refinery in Nigeria, had an initial capacity of 100,000 BPSD, but over the years, mainly problems, including inadequate or virtual non-supply of crude oil arising from pipeline vandalisation and issues bordering on irregular turn-around maintenance (TAM), reduced production to insignificant levels. Until recently when the plant roared back to life, it was virtually dead. At full capacity, it was scheduled to produce 3,957 metric tons of premium motor spirit per day, 1,686 metric tons of kerosene, 3,000 metric tons of diesel, 1,796 metric tons of asphalt, 657 metric tons of base oil, 620 metric of liquefied natural gas and 2,100 metric tons of fuel oil.
According to the KRPC Managing Director, Engineer Saidu Muhammad, the plant has been going through a radical overhaul using Nigerian engineers only. The TAM at the refinery, which was said to have started last October, is scheduled to run till March next year without shutting down production in the entire refinery. After the rehabilitation during which vital old components of the refinery, like compressors and pumps would have been worked on and probably replaced with new ones, the refinery’s present operating level of 60 per cent is expected to go up to, at least, 90 per cent.