Port Harcourt Refinery Set to Commence Operations in July

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The Port Harcourt refinery, with a capacity of 210,000 barrels per day, is poised to begin operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

Chief Ukadike Chinedu, the National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, revealed this new timeline on Monday, highlighting its potential to invigorate economic activities, lower petroleum product prices, and ensure sufficient supply.

In December of last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the completion of mechanical work and the start of flaring at the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest of its kind in the area.

Comprising two units, the older plant can refine 60,000 barrels per day, while the newer one has a capacity of 150,000 barrels per day.

Following a shutdown in March 2019 for initial repair works, the refinery underwent extensive reviews by technical advisers from Maire Tecnimont and Eni, leading to its current state.

During a press briefing in March 2024, Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, assured that operations would commence within two weeks. However, this deadline was not met.

In an interview on Monday, Chief Ukadike emphasized the substantial transformation achieved during maintenance, ensuring the refinery’s readiness by July.

Despite previous delays, Ukadike expressed confidence in meeting the new deadline and welcomed the competition that the Dangote Refinery’s impending production would bring, potentially reducing petrol prices.

The Port Harcourt refinery’s new timeline coincides with Dangote Refinery’s plans to begin petrol production by the end of June, as announced by Aliko Dangote. This development could significantly reduce Nigeria’s hefty import bill for petrol, benefiting the nation economically.

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