Port-Harcourt Refinery: Why Production Has Not Begun – NNPC

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has stated that the Port Harcourt Refinery is still being tested to guarantee operational readiness before commercial operations begin.

After a turn-around maintenance period, the Refinery was anticipated to restart refining operations in December 2023.

According to reports, the test-running exercise would be followed by crude supplies.

Olufemi Oladapo Soneye, the NNPC Ltd.’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, verified this on Monday.

“We have said that the Port Harcourt Refinery has been completed. Test running is ongoing. It is targeted at ensuring that everything, including the lines, is in perfect condition. It is when everything is confirmed to be fine that supply of crude for refining can start,” Soneye said.

It should be noted that the NNPC Ltd. announced the mechanical completion of restoration work on the Port Harcourt Refining Company’s (PHRC) Area 5 Plant.

“Rehabilitation work has been ongoing at the Refinery for over two years and the NNPC Ltd. had pledged to complete Phase One of the project (mechanical completion and flare start-up) of Old Port Harcourt Refinery (Area 5) by 31st December 2023.”

Mr. Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd., stated during an inspection tour of the rehabilitation project, which also coincided with the 15th Refineries’ Rehabilitation Steering Committee Meeting, that as of December 15th, 2023, 84.4% of Area 5 Plant, a key component of the Refinery, and 77.4% of the entire rehabilitation project had been completed.

He said: “In our quest to ensure that this refinery is re-streamed to continue to deliver value to Nigerians, we made a promise that we will reach a mechanical completion of phase one of the rehabilitation project by the end of December and get the other plants running in 2024. Today, we have kept those commitments.”

Similarly, Pius Akinyelure, Chairman of the NNPC Ltd Board, called the milestone as “historic,” emphasizing that the board was proud of the refinery’s workers and management.

“We are just starting. We want to be at the highest level of production so that we will keep the prices of petroleum prices in the country stable to give comfort to our people and generate more revenue for our country,” Akinyelure noted.

Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), also spoke, saying the milestone is another milestone in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s renewed hope program.

He thanked Nigerians for their patience and faith in NNPC Ltd.’s capacity to complete this massive project.

According to Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), re-streaming the Refinery will be a good sign for the nation’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) business, as LPG, popularly known as cooking gas, is a key by-product of the Refinery.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
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Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.