Port Harcourt Refinery Yet To Take Off As Deadline Elapses

Despite assurances from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) that the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) would resume operations two weeks ago, the refinery remains inactive.

This delay continues as Nigerians anticipate the relaunch of the facility, which has been dormant for years, to mitigate the ongoing energy crisis and reduce the need for imported petroleum products.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, had previously informed the Senate on March 28 that the refinery would start delivering refined products within two weeks.

“The Mechanical Completion means that you are done with your rehabilitation work, now you are to test if this completion is okay,” Kyari had explained, signifying that the rehabilitation of the refinery had finished.

However, the refinery is yet to commence operations due to pending regulatory and compliance tests.

Olufemi Soneye, NNPL’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, told Daily Trust, “The Port Harcourt refinery has received crude oil, and it has been stocked in the facility. All crude lines are currently active. Regulatory and compliance tests are underway as we speak, and once they are completed, the refinery will commence operations.”

The delay is a setback to national expectations, especially as stakeholders highlight the potential benefits of having government-owned refineries like those in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna operational, alongside the private Dangote refinery.

This move is anticipated to bolster forex inflow by cutting down on the hefty importation costs.

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited had already facilitated this by supplying over 475,000 barrels of crude oil to the PHRC from the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal.

The Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director of SPDC, Dr. Osagie Okunbor, noted, “With this supply restart, the refining capacity of in-country is expected to come back to life and make petroleum products readily available while reducing Nigeria’s dependence on imported refined products.”

The successful resumption of crude supply was highlighted by Odita Nnajiofor, the terminal’s Installation Manager, who emphasized the rigorous checks undertaken to ensure the integrity of supply pipelines and terminal’s export pumps, which had been shut down for an extended period.

This thorough preparation aims to secure a steady supply of refined products from the PHRC to the Nigerian market, marking a significant step in utilizing key infrastructure effectively.

As the nation awaits the full operationalization of the PHRC, the focus remains on the importance of adhering to best practices and ensuring all regulatory measures are met to facilitate a smooth transition to domestic refining capabilities.

&copy 2024 Naija News, a division of Polance Media Inc.

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