Port Hacourt, Dec. 22, 2023: The Federal Government says re-streaming the Port Harcourt Refinery will increase supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), popularly known as cooking gas, and automatically halt importation.
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, said this on Thursday during an inspection of facilities at the Port Hacourt Refining Company Ltd. (PHRC).
The inspection coincided with the 15th Refineries’ Rehabilitation Steering Committee Meeting also held in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
The PHRC rehabilitation project, which cost the Federal Government about 1.5 billion dollars, is an Engineering Procurement Construction Installation and Commission (EPCIC) project that is in phases.
The rehabilitation work had been ongoing since 2021, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) had pledged to complete phase one of the project (mechanical completion and flare start-up) of old Port Harcourt Refinery at the end of 2023.
On Dec. 20 the NNPCL fulfilled its promise by achieving the mechanical completion and flare start-up of the refinery’s Area 5 Plant.
Speaking during the tour, Ekpo said the mechanical completion and flare start-off would be cheering news equally to LPG users because after Christmas there would be sufficient supply of LPG, a major bye product of the refinery.
“I know the joy that is in the hearts of Nigerians with the coming up on stream of the phase one of the refinery, and I believe others will be completed on schedule,” Ekpo said.
Also speaking, Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd., said 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 as at Dec. 15.
“In our quest to ensure that this refinery is re-streamed to continue to deliver value to Nigerians, we promised to 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,” Kyari said.
The GCEO commended the staff of NNPCL and the EPCIC contractors for their efforts, and thanked Nigerians for their patience and trust in the company to deliver on the huge project.
Kyari further said, “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).”
On the facility tour were Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil) Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri; NNPCL Board Chairman, Chief Pius Akinyelure and Managing Director, PHRC, Ibrahim Onoja.
The Managing Director of Tecnimont Nig. Ltd., Fabio Del Cioppo and other important dignitaries were also on the tour.
The PHRC consists of two units of refineries, with a cumulative 210,000 bpd.
While the old plant has a refining capacity of 60,000 barrels per day (bpd), the new plant has 150,000 bpd.