The Federal Government has said the Port Harcourt Refinery will now commence operations before the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The refinery was initially scheduled to commence operations in December 2022.
Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during President Muhammadu Buhari government’s scorecard series organised by the Federal Ministry of Information.
Giving reasons for the delay, Kyari said, “The promise was to start the fuel plant, which is the 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) component of this activity by the last quarter of 2022, but it is not practical. So, we will start it off in the first quarter of 2023, otherwise, every other process is ongoing.”
Giving further details on the state of the refinery, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said, “The rehabilitation of the 60,000 barrels per day is being completed and it is going to be started in the first quarter.”
About FG’s planned stop to the importation of petroleum products into the country in 2023, Sylva noted that the Dangote refinery, which has a 650,000 barrels per day capacity, and modular refineries across the country, were contributors to the plan.
He said some modular refineries such as the Waltersmith modular refinery, where the NNPC has a 30 per cent stake, and the Duport modular refinery, where NNPC also has a 30 per cent stake, would also start operations in 2023, promising a significant reduction to the importation of petroleum products.
Sylva also noted that fuel subsidy was not sustainable, adding that petroleum product prices should be market driven in Nigeria like in other countries where products sell higher than Nigeria’s current official PMS price at N180 per litre, according to a report by Nairametrics.
The Minister had, in November 2022, announced that the Port Harcourt Refinery, which has been undergoing refurbishment at the cost of $1.5 billion, and which is projected to be delivering 60,000 barrels per day of refined crude, would commence operations by the end of December 2022.