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Port-Harcourt refinery set to begin operations by end of July



After several delays, the 210,000-barrel-per-day Port-Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July 2024.

Chief Ukadike Chinedu, the National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), confirmed this development on Monday.

Chinedu highlighted that the refinery’s operation would stimulate economic activities, lower petroleum product prices, and ensure adequate supply. The refinery, comprising two units with a combined capacity of 210,000 barrels per day (60,000 BPD from the old plant and 150,000 BPD from the new plant), has undergone extensive repairs since it was shut down in March 2019.

The repair project, initiated in March 2019, was overseen by Maire Tecnimont as the technical adviser, with oil major Eni also providing advisory services. In December 2023, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion of the refinery.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, stated that the refinery would start operations within two weeks. However, this did not materialize due to pending regulatory compliance tests.

In an exclusive interview, Ukadike assured that the refinery was near completion and ready to start by the end of July. He emphasized that the maintenance work represented a complete overhaul, with significant updates including new armoured cables and machinery, making it almost like a brand-new facility.

Ukadike expressed optimism about the impact of the refinery’s operation on fuel prices, stating, “We need that competition for the benefit of the nation.” The upcoming operation of the Port-Harcourt refinery, along with the Dangote Refinery set to commence petrol production by the end of June, is expected to significantly reduce Nigeria’s fuel import bill, currently at approximately N6.2 trillion annually.

Femi Soneye, Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPCL, stated that regulatory approvals from international bodies are the final hurdle before the refinery can begin operations. “We are only waiting for regulatory approvals… Everything has been completed in terms of our work, and once we get those approvals, it will start operations,” Soneye assured.

The imminent operation of the Port-Harcourt refinery marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s quest for self-sufficiency in petroleum products. The combined efforts of the Port-Harcourt and Dangote refineries are poised to transform the nation’s fuel supply landscape, reduce import dependency, and drive economic growth.


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