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  • Oil & Gas - News
  • Updated: February 01, 2024

FG affirms Port Harcourt Refining's testing progress, expects refined products availability

FG affirms Port Harcourt Refining's testing progress, expect

The Port Harcourt Refining Company is currently undergoing testing, with the Federal Government confirming on Wednesday that refined petroleum products will soon be available from the plant.

It stated this at a briefing in Abuja as oil marketers voiced concern that the recent naira depreciation against the US dollar will increase refined petroleum product pump prices.

They were particularly curious as to how the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited would continue to sell Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, at the present price, given that one dollar currently equals approximately N1,450.

Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, revealed to journalists that the Port Harcourt refinery was still in the process of being tested while speaking about it at an Abuja event.

On December 21, 2023, the Port Harcourt Refining Company's Area-5 Plant in Rivers State received news that the mechanical restoration of the facility had been completed by the federal government.

The facility would begin refining 60,000 barrels of crude oil after the Christmas break, indicating that the first phase of the project had been finished. But this did not come to pass.

In response to a question on Wednesday regarding the facility's state, Lokpobiri said, “The mechanical aspect of the Port Harcourt refinery has been completed and they are still test-running. Yesterday the MD of the refinery was here because I had to ask him what was going on.

“These were projects that are very fundamental to our survival economically, and I believe that very soon products will start coming from there. But there are several components in that gigantic structure that will take time mechanically to finalise for products to start coming.

“Recall that the Dangote refinery was commissioned by the Buhari administration but they haven’t started releasing products because it takes time. So I believe that the Port Harcourt refinery will soon come and the Warri refinery is in top gear.”

The minister went on to say, "If you ask me, we would have greatly increased our capacity for refining in the coming months." I just saw a paper that said we will gain eighteen times more value addition if we tweak our items here.

“So I believe that very soon the Port Harcourt refinery and the other refineries will all come on stream. This is together with our programme on modular refineries where we are giving some people 5,000 barrels, 10,000 barrels and 30,000 barrels.”

He stated that Nigeria would be able to meet its energy needs and supply refined goods to West Africa once all of these were combined.

Chief Ukadike Chinedu, the National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, said that the price of the item would increase in relation to PMS costs, given the collapse of the naira against the dollar.

“We commend the NNPC for being able to provide PMS, but the truth is that the rise in dollar is affecting every commodity in Nigeria and PMS might not be an exemption any time soon. So it is likely that we may see a hike in its price,” he stated.

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