PORT HARCOURT REFINERY READY TO SUPPLY FUEL TO 12 STATES
The Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) is ready to start supplying petroleum products to 12 states in Nigeria after completing the first phase of its rehabilitation project.
According to Punch, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), which oversees the refinery, said it had begun the supply of crude oil for the test-running of the plant, which has a capacity of 60,000 barrels per day (bpd).
The NNPCL’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Olufemi Soneye, said that the test-running would be completed shortly and that commercial production would commence soon.
He said the refinery had undergone a mechanical overhaul, with all vital components installed and inspected.
He added that the refinery was following the global best practices for testing, which involved checking for leaks, air, line blowing, flushing, drying, steaming out, calibration, plant inerting, and hydrocarbon introduction.
“We’ve successfully completed the mechanical phase of the PH refinery Area 5 plant. Now, industry-based testing remains. Testing will conclude shortly, ensuring the refinery’s efficient operation. Production should commence shortly,” he said.
The President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Billy Gillis-Harry, confirmed that the refinery had started receiving crude oil.
He said he and some other marketers had visited the refinery and witnessed the testing process.
He said the 60,000 bpd crude oil production was enough to serve about 12 states in Nigeria, including Abia, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Delta, among others.
He said the refinery would produce Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol, Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), otherwise known as diesel, as well as other products.
He expressed optimism that the refinery would help reduce the cost of petroleum products in the country and ease the pressure on the foreign exchange market.
He also commended the Federal Government and the NNPCL for completing the first phase of the refinery rehabilitation project, which was announced on December 21, 2023.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, had said that the first phase of the PHRC was completed on December 20, 2023, and that the production of petroleum products would commence after the Christmas break.
He said the second phase of the project, which would increase the refinery’s capacity to 150,000 bpd, would be completed in 2024.
He said the rehabilitation of the PHRC was part of the government’s mandate to revive the nation’s refineries and ensure energy security.
“This is to announce to Nigerians that, in fulfillment of our pledge to complete phase one of the Port Harcourt refinery by the end of 2023 and the subsequent streaming of phase two in 2024, we happily announce the mechanical completion of flare start-up on December 20, 2023.”This heralds the commencement of the production of petroleum products after the Christmas break. We want to thank Nigerians for their patience and trust in the NNPC to deliver on our promise and mandate in the rehabilitation of our refineries,” he said.