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Warri Refinery Back in Operation; Carbon Black Unit to Restart in April

According to a press release from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the company’s refinery at Warri, Nigeria was restarted in February 2008. The refinery was shut down for two years, and the start-up process involved extensive repairs to the refinery itself as well as the often-vandalized Chanomi Creek pipeline, which is the refinery’s only source of crude. The refinery at Kaduna, which is supplied by the same pipeline, has also been restarted.

According to an article in Newswatch magazine, the Warri refinery is operating at 60% of capacity, which is 125,000 barrels per stream day. The refinery produces liquefied petroleum gas, premium motor spirit, kerosene, automotive gas oil, fuel oil, polypropylene pellets, hard carbon black pellets, and power plant and utilities.

Several consultants working with NNPC attended the Carbon Black China 2008 conference last week. According to these sources, the carbon black unit is still shut down, but is expected to be restarted in April. The FCC unit at the refinery started up in March, and decant oil became available late last month. Beyond the lack of feedstock, the carbon black plant has had persistent problems within the reactor unit, so it is not known whether the unit will be functional. If a new reactor is required, startup will be significantly delayed. NNPC is working with the China Carbon Black Institute, the sponsors of the conference, to supply technology and know-how for the unit, possibly including the construction of a new production unit.

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