Contract let to return Nigerian refinery to nameplate capacity

Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC), through a service provider, has let a contract to General Electric Co. to provide gas turbines to be used to generate a reliable, uninterrupted supply of power to NNPC’s refining complex in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, that would enable the complex to return to its full production capacity.

GE will deliver three, 25-Mw, trailer-mounted TM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbines to GEL Utility Ltd., a subsidiary of independent power producer Genesis Electricity Ltd., with whom NNPC signed a 20-year power purchase agreement in November 2013 for the Port Harcourt refinery, GE said in an Aug. 4 news release.

In addition to delivery of the gas turbines, whichwill provide both the baseload and backup power to support refining operations at Port Harcourt, the recent agreement also includes the future modernization of Nigeria’s other two existing refineries, GE said.

The installation of the mobile gas turbines at the Port Harcourt refinery, Nigeria’s largest, is intended to guarantee the plant has the power it needs to overcome chronic grid outages in the region that have presently reduced production at the Port Harcourt complex to 30% of its total maximum nameplate capacity of 210,000 b/d, according to GE.

The three gas turbine units are scheduled to enter commercial operation in August, at which time the Port Harcourt refinery will have the necessary power to return to its full operational capacity, GE said.

In addition to the Port Harcourt complex—which is comprised of two refineries that, together, have a combined installed capacity of 210,000 b/d—NNPC also owns two additional Nigerian refineries, including its 110,000-b/d refinery in Kaduna and a 125,000-b/d refinery in Warri.

All three refineries recently have operated below their installed nameplate capacities, according to the latest data available from NNPC.

During the month of March, crude oil throughputs at the Kaduna refinery averaged about 38,700 b/d, while the Warri refinery processed about 28,000 b/d of crude.

No crude throughputs were reported at the Port Harcourt refinery during March, according to NNPC’s latest data.

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