The Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) in Rivers State has resumed operations, aligning with the federal government’s commitment to produce refined goods at the plant by December 2023.
Initially shut down in 2019, the combined processing capacity of Nigeria’s four refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna stood at 445,000 barrels per day (bpd). However, the refineries were rendered inoperative due to maintenance concerns.
In August, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), during an inspection tour of the PHRC Ltd. plant, confirmed the refinery’s plans to resume operations by December.
“Our objective is for Nigeria to cease fuel importation. From our observations today, Port Harcourt Refinery will resume operations by the year’s end,” Lokpobiri remarked during his visit.
The federal government allocated $1.5 billion (1.2 billion euros) for the rehabilitation of one of its largest oil refineries more than two years ago. The Italian company, Maire Tecnimont, was selected to oversee the repair work at the Port Harcourt location, which has a production capacity of about 210,000 barrels per day.
According to the former Minister of Petroleum (State), Timipre Sylva, the rehabilitation process was structured in three phases, aiming to reach 90 percent of the refinery’s nameplate capacity in the first 18 months.
In a similar vein, the former Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Rivers State, Dr. Joseph Obele, revealed that the first phase of the rehabilitation work at the Port Harcourt Refinery had been completed and was presently undergoing a test run.
Meanwhile, former Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani, expressed optimism about the Kaduna refinery’s potential resumption of operations, hoping it will soon come online, following the commendable progress made by the Port Harcourt Refinery.
The revival of refinery operations at the PHRC and the expected reactivation of the Kaduna Refinery are anticipated to bolster fuel supplies in Nigeria, consequently reducing the country’s reliance on imported refined fuel and other petroleum products.(LEADERSHIP.NG)