Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Operations as Scheduled

December 21, 2023
Port Harcourt Refinery operations

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Limited in Rivers State has reportedly recommenced operations, meeting the target set for it by the federal government.

According to reports, the restart of the refinery is in line with the federal government’s promise to ensure the production of refined products at the facility in December 2023.

The development is coming after many years of underperformance and turnaround maintenance of the facility.

Four of Nigeria’s refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna have a combined capacity to process 445,000 barrels per day.

The immediate past administration of Mr Muhammadu Buhari had approved the overhaul of the refinery and the others in the country to stop the importation of petroleum products.

In August, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, said the refinery would recommence operations in December.

Mr Lokpobiri said this during an inspection tour of the rehabilitation work progress at the PHRC Limited plant

“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,” he said during the visit.

On his part, the Group chief executive of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said bringing back the refineries to their optimal levels is a national aspiration, and the company remains focused on delivering that.

“We are aware of our nation’s challenges in terms of fuel supply. But we are not here to give excuses. We are focused on delivering this rehabilitation project, our two other refineries, and all other investments towards revamping the nation’s refining capacity. We are hopeful that in 2024, this country will be a net exporter of petroleum products,” Mr Kyari stated.

The recommencement of operations at the Port Harcourt refinery comes over two years after the federal government approved funding of $1.5 billion to repair one of its biggest oil refineries.

The government chose an Italian firm Maire Tecnimont to carry out the repair work at the Port Harcourt facility which has a capacity of some 210,000 barrels per day.

“We are happy to announce that the rehabilitation of productivity refinery will commence in three phases,” the then-Minister of Petroleum Resources State, Mr Timipre Sylva told reporters.

“The first phase is to be completed in 18 months, which will take the refinery to a production of 90 per cent of its nameplate capacity,” said Mr Sylva, adding that the second phase would be completed in 24 months and the third in 44 months.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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