By Luka Binniyat
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. This is accompanied by a flurry of activities, especially heavy traffic of petrol tankers, in and around the 1.2 square mile refinery, which is unarguably the biggest government investment north of the Niger and the Benue. But, in the past 10 months, the fire has disappeared and the hustling around the refinery has also whittled down into a sober, low-level activity. Sunday Vanguard then decided to find out what is going on.
The Managing Director, MD of the facility, Engr Saidu Mohammed, a 1980 graduate of chemical engineering of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, laughed heartily from behind his table in his cosy office at the plant last Wednesday at the notion of the disappeared fire as a sign of lack of production, when Sunday Vanguard wanted to sieve out rumours from reality.
“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-Rehab, instead of shutdown
Said Mohammed: “We are doing TAM (Turn Around Maintenance)-Rehabilitation (TAM-Rehab) while the refinery continues to run. We try as much as possible not to shut down the entire refinery while this is going on….. See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/08/kaduna-refinery-set-to-pump-five-million-litres-of-petrol-daily-into-economy-krpc-md/#sthash.57W8CS91.dpuf