Port Harcourt Refinery Will Resume Operations In December – Lokpobiri
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government, as part of its current efforts to end petroleum product importation soon, will ensure that the Port Harcourt refinery resumes operations by the end of this year.
The Minister, who was accompanied by the Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Mr Ekperikpe Ekpo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, and the Group CEO, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari, made this promise on Friday during an inspection of the ongoing rehabilitation works at the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited.
A statement issued by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPCL, Garba Deen Muhammad, quoted the minister as saying that considering the level of progress made so far on the PHRC rehabilitation project, the plant would come back on stream by December 2023.
He clarified: “Our reason for coming here today is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation.
“From what we have seen here today, Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board by the end of the year, Warri will come on stream by the first quarter of 2024, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of 2024.
“If you add those to the Dangote Refinery, we will be able to stop fuel importation, and Nigerians will enjoy the full benefits of deregulation”, the minister assured.
He also expressed satisfaction with the ongoing rehabilitation work at refinery, saying that once all the refineries were back on stream, Nigerians would enjoy a better supply of petroleum products, earn more foreign exchange with the attendant positive implications for the nation’s economic growth.
Earlier in his remarks, Kyari said the re-streaming of the local refineries to their optimal levels was a national aspiration, adding that the NNPC Ltd remained focused on ensuring that the objective is achieved
He explained: “We are aware of our nation’s challenges in terms of fuel supply. But we are not here to give excuses.
“We are focused on delivering this rehabilitation project, our two other refineries, and all other investments towards revamping the nation’s refining capacity.
“We are hopeful that in 2024, this country will be a net exporter of petroleum products,” Kyari stated.
During the visit, the two ministers also participated in the Refineries’ Rehabilitation Steering Committee’s meeting where they parleyed the refinery’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors.