The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has announced the completion of phase 1 of the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery in Rivers State, signalling the commencement of petroleum refining.

He pointed out that production of petroleum products would commence after the Christmas break.

The minister made the announcement during the 15th Refineries Rehabilitation Steering Committee meeting held in Port Harcourt, which coincided with the completion of the mechanical repairs of the Port Harcourt Refinery earlier today.

The meeting was attended by the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari; NNPCL’s Executive Vice President, Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan; and the NNPCL Board Chairman, Chief Pius Akinyelure.

Lokpobiri stated, “This is just to announce to Nigerians that in fulfilment of our pledge to bring on stream phase 1 of the PH refinery by the end of 2023 and the subsequent streaming of phase 2 in 2024, we heartily announce the mechanical completion and flare up of the refinery on the 20th of December 2023.


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“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 NNPCL to deliver on our promise and mandate for the rehabilitation of our refineries.”

Also speaking at the briefing, the NNPCL board chairman stated, “We made a promise that the refinery will be on before the end of the year. We are here to witness this historic event. We are proud of the staff and the entire management of the refinery.

“We are just starting. We want to attain the highest level of production to keep the price of petroleum stable in our country.”

The NNPCL Group CEO also said the NNPCL was committed to ensuring full completion of the refinery.

The Old Port Harcourt Refinery (OPHR) was commissioned in 1965 with a capacity of 35,000 BPSD, which rose to the current capacity of 60,000 BPSD after de-bottlenecking in 1972.

The New Port Harcourt Refinery (NPHR) was commissioned in March 1989 and has a capacity of 150,000BPSD.

Over the years, efforts have been made to revive the refinery but none has been successful until the current exercise by the NNPCL.

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