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Port Harcourt Refinery To Begin Operations  July

The long-anticipated resumption of operations at the Port Harcourt refinery is set to occur by the end of July, according to a statement made on Monday by Chief Ukadike Chinedu, the National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria.

 This announcement marks the end of several delays that have pushed the refinery’s restart date multiple times.

Chief Chinedu emphasized that the refinery’s reopening will have significant economic impacts.

 “The development will stimulate economic activities, reduce the price of petroleum products, and ensure an adequate supply,” he stated, underscoring the broad economic benefits expected from the refinery’s operational status.

The Port Harcourt refinery, with a substantial capacity of 210,000 barrels per day, has been undergoing extensive repair and upgrade work. 

The refinery is split into two units: an older unit with a refining capacity of 60,000 barrels per day and a newer unit capable of handling 150,000 barrels per day. 

This large-scale refurbishment began in March 2019 when the refinery was shut down for its first phase of repair works. 

The Nigerian government had engaged Maire Tecnimont of Italy as the technical adviser for the reviews of the refinery complex, and oil giant Eni was appointed as the technical adviser.

The completion of the mechanical upgrades was announced by Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, in December 2023.

 He highlighted the mechanical completion and flare start-off as critical milestones for the refinery, signaling its readiness to begin the final phases of pre-operational testing.

Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, had initially indicated that the refinery would commence operations by mid-March 2024. 

Kyari, during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating various turnaround maintenance projects for the country’s refineries,mentioned that the refinery had already stocked crude oil and was undergoing necessary regulatory compliance tests.

But, despite his assurance, operations had not commenced two months later.

PLATFORM TIMES reports that the revised start date in July coincides with another significant event in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector—the proposed commencement of petrol production at the Dangote Refinery by the end of June.

Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group, announced at the Africa CEO Forum annual summit in Kigali that Nigeria would no longer need to import petrol once the Dangote Refinery starts operations.

 The new refinery is expected to meet not only Nigeria’s demand but also the fuel needs of West Africa and potentially the entire continent’s aviation fuel requirements.

Currently, Nigeria’s monthly consumption of petrol stands at approximately 1 billion litres, costing the country about N520 billion in imports each month.

PLATFORM TIMES gathered that with the combined output from the Port Harcourt and Dangote refineries, the government anticipates a significant reduction in its annual import bill, potentially saving up to N6.2 trillion.

PLATFORM TIMES reports that the  synchronized start of these two major refineries is poised to transform Nigeria’s energy landscape, ensuring energy security, creating jobs, and fostering economic growth by reducing dependency on imported petroleum products.

 

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