Nigeria’s National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, said it recorded 219 cases of pipeline vandalism in Rivers state in 2019 with devastating pollution of the environmental.
The Zonal Director of NOSDRA, South South, Cyrus Nkangwung, told newsmen that the annual reports by the Agency indicates that activities of pipeline vandals increased in Rivers State in 2019 compared to the reports of 2018.
He noted that the volume of crude oil spilled, mostly as a result of sabotage by vandals is a scary and a waste of revenue and environmental degradation.
He said there is a need for vigorous public enlightenment against the illicit act so as to reduce the incidents to barest minimum and avoid environmental hazards.
Prominent among communities that suffered incidents of vandalism in Rivers are: Konkon community in Oyigbo local government area, Ubeta Community in Ahoada-West, Communities in Abua-Odual local government among others.
In the case of Konkon community, over 50 persons scooping refined petroleum products from a vandalised pipeline were roasted beyond recognition with devastating ecological damage.
Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Limited (NDPR), a subsidiary of Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc (NDEP), has increased its diesel topping refining plant from 1,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 5,000 bpd in its effort to guarantee energy sufficiency in Nigeria.
To this end, the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has commended NDPR for the expansion, saying it would help realise the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and other similar Federal Government initiatives aimed at deepening local refining in Nigeria.
NDPR’s expansion includes the production of kerosene, marine diesel and heavy fuel oil to cater to the Nigerian market.
The expanded plant located at Ogbele, Ahoada in Rivers State will potentially reduce importation of petroleum products with corresponding savings in foreign exchange and employment generation for the teeming youths in Nigeria.
DPR in a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Sarki Auwalu, said the NDPR has fabricated, inspected and tested major equipment and units for the second train (production line) of 5,000 bpd that will be shipped to Nigeria soon.
“When installed, the upgraded refining complex will bring the total refining capacity to 11,000 BPD and will then have the requisite units to produce diesel (512,775 litres/day), kerosene (317,205 litres/clay), marine diesel (281,907 litres/day) and heavy fuel oil (234,525 litres/day), and particularly Premium Motor Spirit/gasoline (168,540 litres/day),” Auwalu said.
“The DPR provided necessary regulatory guidance and technical support throughout the project development phases for NDPR to contribute about 4.2% of national daily diesel demand and about o.4% for gasoline in Nigeria.
“Having achieved these giant strides, the DPR is set to grant NDPR a ‘Licence to Operate’ (LTO) the plant expected to be commissioned soon.
“This laudable project is expected to catalyze further growth of the Nigerian refining industry by attracting more investments as more players gain confidence”, he said.
He directed all modular refinery ‘Licence to Establish’ (LTE) holders to demonstrate expected performance within the two years validity of the Licence to enable them to obtain ‘Approval To Construct’ (ATC) and other milestone approvals.