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NNPC completes mechanical phase of PH refinery, operations to begin after Christmas

NNPC completes mechanical phase of PH refinery, operations to begin after Christmas
December 21
14:55 2023

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited says it has completed the mechanical phase of the turnaround maintenance at the Port Harcourt refinery.

Speaking to TheCable on Thursday, Femi Soneye, NNPC spokesperson, said the national oil company has finally delivered on its promise.

The development means that the fixing of the refinery’s equipment and systems has been done.

Addressing the timeframe of operation, Heineken Lokpobiri, minister of state for petroleum resources (oil), said production will commence at the refinery after Christmas.

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He spoke at the 15th refineries rehabilitation steering committee meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

Lokpobiri said production is set to commence after the phase one of the rehabilitation of the refinery is completed.

“This is just to announce to Nigerians that in fulfilment of our pledge to bring on stream phase 1 of the PH refinery by the end of 2023 and the subsequent streaming of phase 2 in 2024, we heartily announce the mechanical completion and flare up of the refinery on the 20th of December 2023,” he said.

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“This heralds the commencement of production of petroleum products after the Christmas break.

“We want to thank Nigerians for their patience and trust in the NNPCL to deliver on our promise and mandate for the rehabilitation of our refineries.”

In attendance during the meeting were Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited; Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, NNPC’s executive vice-president, upstream; and Pius Akinyelure, NNPC’s board chairman.

Speaking on the milestone, Jide Pratt, an energy expert, said with the completed phase, the mechanism and mechanics of the refinery are satisfactory and have been “switched on”.

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“To do this, it is assumed the electrical work should also be done so they can fire on and test,” he told TheCable.

“The next stage would be to feed crude gradually and begin refining.”

“I do doubt though if the refinery efficiency and yield being revamped would be more than 60 percent max in my opinion”.

The federal government had promised the facility would begin operations this month — after several failed deadlines.

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In March 2021, the federal executive council (FEC) approved the sum of $1.5 billion for the plant’s rehabilitation.

NNPC, in May 2021, announced the commencement of repairs at the refinery in Rivers state.

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On November 30, 2023, Ibrahim Onoja, PHRC’s managing director (MD), said the procurement process for the rehabilitation of the refinery was 98 percent complete.

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