The Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) in Rivers State has successfully resumed operations, a pivotal step aligning with the federal government’s commitment to produce refined goods at the plant by December 2023. Originally shut down in 2019 for maintenance concerns, the PHRC’s revitalization is part of a broader effort to enhance Nigeria’s energy self-sufficiency.
Led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Refinery Steering Committee inspected the PHRC, confirming that the facility began operations on December 20, 2023. Senator Lokpobiri commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and the collective effort of Nigerians for achieving this significant feat.
The federal government, having allocated $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation, entrusted the Italian company Maire Tecnimont with overseeing the repair work at the Port Harcourt location. The PHRC, with a production capacity of approximately 210,000 barrels per day, underwent a structured three-phase rehabilitation process. The aim was to reach 90 percent of the refinery’s nameplate capacity within the first 18 months.
Former Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Rivers State, Dr. Joseph Obele, confirmed the completion of the first phase of rehabilitation at the Port Harcourt Refinery, which is currently undergoing a test run.
In parallel optimism, former Kaduna Central Senator Shehu Sani expressed hope for the potential resumption of operations at the Kaduna Refinery, inspired by 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 poised to strengthen fuel supplies in Nigeria, reducing the country’s dependence on imported refined fuel and other petroleum products. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Senator Lokpobiri, anticipates that refined petroleum products will start flowing from the PHRC after the Christmas break, marking a positive turn for the country’s energy landscape.
This development reflects the concerted efforts to revitalize Nigeria’s refineries, a crucial stride towards achieving greater energy security and reducing dependence on external sources for refined petroleum products.