The Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) of the Port Harcourt Refinery, which is critical to the production of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS – petrol), has been fully rehabilitated and would be handed over to the management of the refinery this weekend, the contractor handling the projects has said.
The FCCU, according to the contractor – Chrome Oil Services, can now function to 95 percent of its throughput, thereby significantly reducing the level of import.
The completion of the FCCU rehabilitation is a major achievement towards addressing the issue of capital flight the country is currently experiencing through fuel importation, Bombey Adigbara, project manager, Chrome Oil Services, while giving an update on the state of the works carried out on the refinery so far.
He said the rehabilitation works that were ongoing in the refinery had necessitated the commencement of preliminary production in the plant, saying unit one of the whole refinery plant, which comprise of the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU), had started working after a long time.
“As at the moment, we are still doing rehabilitation works and because of this the refinery has started preliminary work. Unit one, which comprises of the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU), has started working after a long time, while unit three which is being handled by Chrome Oil Services has also been completely rehabilitated and would be handed over to the management of Port Harcourt Refinery this weekend,” he said.
Commenting on the turnaround maintenance (TAM), which his company did on the refinery in year 2000, he said it was true that Chrome Oil Services, in conjunction with some foreign companies, did the job with a consortium formed – called Chrome Consortium where Chrome Oil Services was the lead partner under the supervision of Shell Manufacturing Services.
Apart from the owners of the equipment, Port Harcourt Refinery, there was an international company that supervised the TAM and all the certificates were certified by Shell Manufacturing Services, a member of Shell Group, he said.
“Chrome Oil Services, having done a very good job during the TAM, the refinery beckons on it to stay back and continue to support it to offer massive back-up maintenance till this date,” he said.
The contractor has been the backbone of Port Harcourt Refinery without sounding immodest, and the major interventions and critical jobs have been done by Chrome Oil Service, “in fact, the refinery is running today because of the intervention the company has been doing,” he said.
Usually, TAM is done every two years, the Chrome boss said, adding that it is like a comprehensive overhaul of the plants, explaining that because refinery is a life running plant it does not come down unless there is a major fault.
“So, the last TAM was done in year 2000, and from that time to this time that rehabilitation is going on there was no major TAM done. What this means is that the equipment are susceptible to major decay. What Chrome was doing was to carve out major intervention for the refinery,” he disclosed further.
Another challenge that faced the refinery was the issue of power generation. He said the steam turbines and boilers that were installed when the refinery was built had problems because of the quality of water going into them, and for a long time there was no major overhaul carried out on them.
Chrome Oil Services, he said, was contracted to carry out major intervention, and it worked on these boilers to bring them to the level of serviceability and workability to be able to sustain the refinery. “While we worked on those boilers, we also did some works on the process plants,” he said.
He said all the jobs carried out, their certificates of mechanical completions were duly signed by manager and engineering and technical services and confirmed by Shell Manufacturing Services representative and executive director operations Port Harcourt Refinery.