The Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has stated that the Portharcourt refinery is being put to shape to commence production hopefully by the first quarter of 2023. Sylva made this confirmation during the President Muhammadu Buhari administration scorecard (2015 – 2023) presentation in Abuja.
He noted that “the rehabilitation of 60,000 barrels per day Port Harcourt Refinery Company (PHRC) has been completed and set to begin production by the first quarter of this year”.
This came as confirmation while reiterating the same position made by the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Mallam Mele Kyari’s that, “it was not practical to start the production in the last quarter of last year as promised”.
Kyari said: “The rehabilitation of the refinery will took 42 months from the date of the award of the contract. And typical of every refinery, we do their rehabilitation in phases and by our plan, we promise to start off the polyplastic 60,000 barrels per day complete the activity by the last quarter of 2022”.
The Minister also informed participants that the government took 30 per cent equity stake in each of the 5000bpd WalterSmith modular refinery in Ibigwe, and the 10,000bpd Duport Modular Refinery.
He added that, the completed modular refineries were contending with (feedstock) domestic supply obligation challenges, seeking crude supply from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) 60% equity.
The turnaround maintenance of this same refinery has been on for years even before the Buhari administration and the production date keeps getting new names. It is expected that the refinery will have commenced operations and serve Nigerians but yet to do so. The MD of NNPC had promised that this facility will commence operation in the last quarter of 2022 until this revelation of Q1 2023.