The Federal Government on Thursday announced the mechanical completion and flare start off of the Port Hacourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC).
Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil) disclosed this on Thursday in Port Harcourt during a media tour on the refinery which rehabilitation commenced in 2021.
On the tour were the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas) Ekperikpe Ekpo; Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) Board Chairman, Chief Pius Akinyelure; Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd., Malam Mele Kyari and other dignitaries.
The Managing Director of the PHRC, Ibrahim Onoja, was also on the tour.
“Just to announce to Nigerians the fulfillment of our pledge to bring on stream phase one of the Port Hacourt Refinery by the end of 2023 and the subsequent streaming of phase two in 2024.
“We happily announce the mechanical completion and the flare start-off on Dec. 20, 2023.
“This heralds the commencement of the production of petroleum products after the Christmas break,” Lokpobiri said.
The minister thanked Nigerians for their patience and the trust on the NNPC Ltd. to deliver on its promise and the mandate of the refinery’s rehabilitation.
According to him, it is another landmark of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
Akinyelure, who expressed satisfaction over the new development, said it was a promise made to President Bola Tinubu that the refinery would begin operation in 2023.
The NNPC Ltd. board chairman who recalled that the refinery had undergone several rehabilitation, said that its commencement of operations would keep fuel cost stable.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PHRC comprised of two refining units, with the old plant having a refining capacity of 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) and the new plant 150,000 bpd, both summing up to 210,000 bpd.
The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repair works after the government secured the services of Italy’s Maire Tecnimont to handle the scoping of the refinery complex, with oil major Eni appointed technical adviser.
In 2021, NNPC Ltd. said repairs had started after the Federal Executive Council approved $1.5bn for the project.
The refinery had over the years performed below optimal levels which resulted in importation of petroleum products for domestic use for many years to cover for the gap in the refinery’s output. (NAN)