• Saturday, February 24, 2024
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NNPC achieves mechanical completion of Port Harcourt refinery

Is fixing Port Harcourt refinery for $1.5bn reckless spending?

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, on Thursday said that it has delivered on the mechanical completion of rehabilitation work on Area 5 Plant of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).

Speaking during an inspection tour of the project on Thursday, Mele Kyari, the group chief executive officer of NNPC Ltd., said as of December 15th, 2023, 84.4 per cent of Area 5 Plant, a key component of the Refinery, and 77.4 per cent of the entire rehabilitation project had been completed.

The $1.5 billion rehabilitation project was launched by the Buhari administration in 2019, to restore the aging refinery to its nameplate capacity of 210,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Kyari in a statement issued by Olufemi O. Soneye, chief corporate communications officer, NNPC Ltd. said, “In our quest to ensure that this refinery is re-streamed to continue to deliver value to Nigerians, we made a promise that we will reach a mechanical completion of phase one of the rehabilitation project by the end of December and get the other plants running in 2024. Today, we have kept those commitments.”

In his remarks, the Chairman of the NNPC Ltd Board, Chief Pius Akinyelure, said, “We are just starting. We want to be at the highest production level so that we will keep the prices of petroleum in the country stable to comfort our people and generate more revenue for our country.”

Also speaking at the event, Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), said the staged completion of the project will herald the commencement of the production of petroleum products after the Christmas break.

“Just to announce to Nigerians the fulfilment of our pledge to bring on stream phase one of the Port Harcourt refinery by the end of 2023 and the subsequent streaming of phase two in 2024. We happily announced the mechanical completion and the flare start-off on the 20th of December, 2023.

“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 NNPC to deliver on her promise and mandate of rehabilitating our refineries. This is also another landmark of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration. Congratulations to NNPC and congratulations to Nigerians,” he said.

In his remarks, Fabio Del Cioppo, the Managing Director of Tecnimont Nig. Ltd., one of the EPC Contractors of the Rehabilitation Project, said his company remains committed to fulfilling the terms of the contract.

“The PHRC rehabilitation project, which costs about $1.5bn, is an EPCIC project that covers engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning phases. For Area 5, the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Installation have all been completed. The mechanical completion signifies the closure of the Construction and Installation phases.

“More importantly, the milestone was achieved under an excellent Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) record, which stood at over 9.5 million man-hours with zero Loss Time Injury (LTI),” it stated.