Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), has declared the successful completion of phase 1 of the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery in Rivers State, marking the commencement of petroleum refining. He emphasized that the production of petroleum products would kick off after the Christmas break,Daily Trust reports.
The announcement took place during the 15th Refineries Rehabilitation Steering Committee meeting held in Port Harcourt, coinciding with the mechanical repairs’ completion at the Port Harcourt Refinery earlier today. The meeting saw the presence of key figures, including Mallam Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, the NNPCL’s Executive Vice President, Upstream, and Chief Pius Akinyelure, the NNPCL Board Chairman.
Lokpobiri conveyed, “This is to inform Nigerians that, in keeping with our commitment to bring phase 1 of the PH refinery online by the end of 2023 and subsequently launch phase 2 in 2024, we joyfully announce the mechanical completion and flare-up of the refinery on the 20th of December 2023. This marks the commencement of petroleum product production after the Christmas break. We express our gratitude to Nigerians for their patience and trust in the NNPCL to fulfill our promise and mandate for the rehabilitation of our refineries.”
Addressing the gathering, the NNPCL Board Chairman remarked, “We promised that the refinery would be operational before the year-end. We are present here to witness this historic event and are proud of the staff and the entire refinery management. This is just the beginning. Our goal is to achieve the highest level of production to maintain petroleum price stability in our country.”
The NNPCL Group CEO reiterated the commitment to ensuring the full completion of the refinery. The Old Port Harcourt Refinery (OPHR) was commissioned in 1965 with a 35,000 BPSD capacity, later increased to the current 60,000 BPSD after de-bottlenecking in 1972. The New Port Harcourt Refinery (NPHR), commissioned in March 1989, has a capacity of 150,000 BPSD. Previous attempts to revive the refinery have been unsuccessful until the current initiative by the NNPCL.