The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the alleged sabotage responsible for the Warri refinery’s frequent shutdown and to address the problem.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Ben Igbakpa (PDP-Delta) at a plenary on Wednesday.
Mr Igbakpa said the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company was mandated to produce refined products from local crude.
According to him, its production department’s three main sections, including “reforming, crude distillation, and catalytic cracking units,” have operated for years due to its personnel’s efforts.
He added that the plants operated at an output of around 115m3/hour, translating to about 68 per cent installed capacity.
Mr Igbakpa noted that products from the refinery included petrol, diesel, kerosene, LPG (cooking gas), Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) for ships, and Industrial Fuel Carbon Black.
The legislator disclosed further, “The refinery has not operated optimally due to alleged top management decisions of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to ground the plant for personal benefit from marketers importing products that can be produced in the refinery.
“The plant had been shut down severally due to haulage challenges, neglect in the evacuation of products, lack of functional or operational storage tanks, and poor maintenance culture on the part of management which also constitutes another reason for the refinery non-functionality.”
He further claimed, “We are aware of the alleged plan to ground the plant from refining products by members of the top echelon of the Warri refinery in collaboration with the chief operating officer as well as diverting crude meant for refining.
“We are also aware that when crude oil is delivered from Escravous tank farm for refining, the products are hoarded for about 14 days and thereafter diverted through the refinery jetty to interested buyers (or specific companies they have special interests in) who pay less. The resultant effect of this perceived economic sabotage is that the plant is brought down because no crude to refine as it has been diverted.”
The parliament mandated its Committee on Petroleum (upstream) to investigate the failure of the NNPC to address the haulage challenges. The committee will also look into the inadequate storage tanks affecting the petrochemical company.