The Federal Government (FG), on Thursday, confirmed the commencement of operations at the Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company in Rivers State.
It announced that the facility commenced operations on December 20, 2023, as the first phase of work at the plant had been completed, adding that refined petroleum products would start flowing from the refinery after the Christmas break.
The government had earlier in the year repeatedly stated that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations before the end of 2023.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, who led members of the Refinery Steering Committee to inspect the facility, congratulated the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and Nigerians in general for the feat.
Nigeria’s refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Warri have been dormant for decades, as the Federal Government has spent several billions of naira to revamp the facilities.
“The meeting today coincides with the commencement of operations at the Port Harcourt refinery,” Lokpobiri stated at the refinery.
He added, “This is to announce to Nigerians that in fulfillment of our pledge to complete phase one of the Port Harcourt refinery by the end of 2023, and the subsequent streaming of phase two in 2024, we happily announce the mechanical completion of flare start-up on December 20, 2023.
“This heralds the commencement of the production of petroleum products after the Christmas break. We want to thank Nigerians for their patience and trust in the NNPC to deliver on our promise and mandate in the rehabilitation of our refineries.”
Also, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, said the employees of the company worked day and night for over 9.6 million man-hours to get the refinery back on stream.
On April 7, 2021, The PUNCH reported that the NNPC officially signed a contract with Tecnimont SPA for the $1.5bn rehabilitation programme of the Port Harcourt Refining Company.
Details to come…