Port Harcourt refinery to begin operation in December, says Minister

The Nigerian government has assured that the Port Harcourt refinery will become functional by December, adding that the objective is coming to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation.

Penpushing reports that the assurance was contained in a statement by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Garba Deen Muhammad.

The statement said the 60,000 barrels per day Port Harcourt Refinery was shut in March 2019 for the first phase of repair works after the government secured the service of Italy’s Maire Tecnimont to handle the scoping of the refinery complex, with oil major Eni appointed as a technical adviser.

Penpushing further reports Muhammad stated that the Nigerian government has reiterated its commitment to ending petroleum product importation soon, as efforts are being redoubled to restore the nation’s local refining capacity.

The statement added that, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, said this during an inspection tour of the rehabilitation work progress at the refining company plant in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Penpushing also reports that the statement quoted the Minister who was in the company of the Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Gabriel Aduda and the Group CEO, NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, as saying that  considering the level of progress recorded in the PHRC rehabilitation project, the plant will come back on stream by December this year.

‘Our objective in coming here today is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation. From what we have seen here today, Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board by the end of the year, Warri will come on stream by the end of the first quarter of next year, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of next year.

Penpushing further reports that it is recalled that the Nigerian National Pertroleum Corporation Limited(NNPLC) in 2021, said repairs had started after the Federal Executive Council(FEC) approved $1.5 billion for the project.

The then Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, last September  said the country’s biggest crude refinery in Port Harcourt would restart operation in December after it would have completed a revamp that began over a year ago, but findings, however, showed that the pledge failed to see light of the day.

Penpushing also reports that the former Minister in January 2023, assured that part of the refinery would be completed by the year’s first quarter, but the government has again failed to meet its target.

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