By Yetunde Bada
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said its subsidiary, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), lost about N2.2 billion annually to illegal tapping on its raw water pipeline.
The corporation said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu.
According to Ughamadu, the raw water pipeline which runs from Kaduna River, generates power for the running of the refinery and serves as coolants for equipment and combats fire outbreaks.
”Sequel to the series of tapping, the refinery now spends more on diesel and other material inputs in the maintenance of its generators and other equipment,” he said.
He said that KRPC Managing Director, Malam Idi Mukhtar, had lamented that the consumption of the water by settlers who encroached on the company’s premises was an unnecessary, additional burden to the refinery’s industrial requirements.
”Mukhtar said this must be resolved urgently by relevant state government agencies.
”He said other losses were that it slows down the build-up rate of water in the reserve tanks, which endangers the refinery as the plant is expected to maintain a minimum level of water requirement that is considered safe for operations.
“The illegal acts are committed mostly in Janruwa, Kamazo, Namaigero and Mahuta areas of Kaduna metropolis, which are the communities along the raw water intake pipeline Right of Way.
”He also explained that a particular amount of water, sufficient enough to generate steam and other industrial consumption is needed.
“This is because of the incidents of illegal tapping of our water pipeline, we need to put more effort to meet our industrial requirements,” Ughamadu said.
He expressed pleasure that the Kaduna State Government had promised to look into the issue with a view to finding a lasting solution to the challenge.
He explained that Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority and Kaduna State Water Board had been contacted to address the issues of land encroachment on KRPC Right of Way.
Ughamadu advised illegal tappers of the refinery’s raw water pipeline to desist from the act, warning that the raw water was not fit for human consumption because it was untreated.
He quoted KRPC Executive Director, Operations, Alhaji Shehu Malami, as saying that if the problem was not addressed, a time would come when the plant would not be able to run some of its critical units.
”Malami said that the refinery was currently operating at 65 per cent capacity, producing 1.7 million litres of petrol, 1.7 million litres of diesel and 700, 000 litres of kerosene, daily.
”The daily rate of loading is massive; even, on Sundays products are being loaded to meet the growing demand in the country,” Ughamadu said.