A billow of fire and thick fumes of burnt hydrocarbons to Kaduna residents is the signal that the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, is in operation. But, in the past 10 months, the fire has disappeared. Vanguard then decided to find out what is going on.

The Managing Director of the facility, Engr Saidu Mohammed, laughed heartily from behind his table in his cosy office at the notion of the disappeared fire as a sign of lack of production.

He said, “Don’t worry that you don’t see the usual fire billowing out smoke which makes people know that we are producing, for now, we are steaming and that is what is most important”, he said.

He continued: “Tell you what?

That fire in itself requires gas, since it is gas we usually flare. But we cannot afford to waste it at this stage, because it is the same gas that we need to burn the heaters, to fire the heaters. So is it the same gas that you want to take and go and flare? If you have problem with the heaters, what happens? So the time will come when you see the fire again.”

Mohammed then went on to say that the KRPC was going through a radical overhaul of the refinery using Nigerian engineers only, and that the refinery was still producing. It turned out to be a very revealing encounter as he gave a narration of the ongoing effort to reposition the KRPC to optimal state.

TAM done strictly by Nigerian engineers

“What we are doing, we are using purely Nigerian contractors. Nigerian engineering contractors are very competent; sadly many people don’t know that. They have the competence and the capacity to do jobs. They can do everything on this refinery. The contractors working around the technically complex FCCs are Nigerian contractors.

5 million litres of PMS next year

“When we start producing at 90% next March, we shall be producing between three and five million litre of PMS per day, or about 100 to 150 trucks per day”.