Port Harcourt Refinery Yet to Commence Operations as Deadline Passes

Despite the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) assuring Nigerians two weeks ago that the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) would resume operations, the refinery remains inactive as the deadline has elapsed.

This delay comes as a disappointment to the nation, which is eagerly awaiting the relaunch of the facility to alleviate the ongoing energy crisis and reduce the need for imported petroleum products.

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.

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

The PHRC has received crude oil and has it stocked in the facility. All crude lines are currently active.

Regulatory and compliance tests are underway, and once they are completed, the refinery will commence operations.

The delay is a setback to national expectations, particularly as stakeholders have emphasized 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 has already facilitated this by supplying over 475,000 barrels of crude oil to the PHRC from the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal.

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.

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.

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