- The NNPC has assured that the Port Harcourt refinery will commence operations this December
- This is as Nigerians begin to count down to the end of the year in expectation of the refinery's full operation
- The MD of the Port Harcourt refinery said the facility has progressed to a 75% completion rate
Legit.ng journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.
Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) will start operations this December despite pessimism expressed by many Nigerians, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has said.
Ibrahim Onoja, managing director of the refinery, disclosed this while giving an update in a television broadcast.
He said the NNPC's chief executive officer, Mele Kyari, assured the Port Harcourt refinery will come on stream by the end of the month.
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Onoja also said that the Warri refinery is slated to begin in early 2024.
His comment comes after some Nigerians doubted the chances of the Port Harcourt refinery commencing operation this year as touted by the NNPCL.
Port Harcourt refinery now 75% complete
According to a ThisDay report, Onoja stressed that the rehabilitation of the refinery is now 98% complete.
“Over 75% of this task has been completed and accelerated as workers run day and night shifts. We have completed most of the procurement, we have gone over 98%, and most of them are now delivered.
“We have refineries in the world that are over a hundred years old. The basic static equipment which is the metallic part you see remains fundamentally the same.
He added that the rotating equipment, which comprised pumps and compressors, had been upgraded.
He noted that the 3,000 workers working on the project had recorded 8.3 million man-hours with zero lost time to injuries.
Modular refineries also commencing operations soon
In a related development, Simbi Wabote, the executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), commended the effort of modular refineries in the country.
According to a Daily Trust report, he said this at the 12th edition of the practical Nigerian content forum.
He said the Waltersmith modular refinery alone in 2023 produced and sold over 170 million litres of petroleum products.
This amounts to about 3,000 trucks of petroleum products, which could have been hitherto imported using the scarce forex.
Speaking on the progress of other modular refineries, he said:
“The three other modular refineries are being progressed to completion and start-up. For example, the financial close to getting the remaining funding for Azikel Refinery is nearing completion with the great support from AFREXIM bank.
“While Duport Refinery in Edo State is essentially complete, we are looking at the various options and offers before us to bring closure to the partnership in line with our investment policy.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Baker Hughes, one of the world's largest oil field services companies, announced plan to invest in Nigeria's refineries.
Anxiety as NNPCL fails to remit $6.9bn to FG amid oil boom, firm swaps $7.1bn worth of crude
Legit.ng also reported that the NNPCL could not remit $6.923 billion to the federation account and traded about $7.108 billion worth of crude oil under its Direct Sale Purchase (DSDO) scheme in 2021.
The oil firm also owes $13.591 million in outstanding taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
In comparison, unpaid federation revenue to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) totalled $8.251 billion as of December 31, 2022.