By John Ikani
The Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) has restarted operations on Wednesday, marking a significant milestone following 4 years of shutdown for rehabilitation initiated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL).
Amaka Okafor, Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, confirmed the refinery’s resumption, stating, “Yes, the refinery is set; we will visit the refinery site today to kickstart its operation.”
Former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration launched a $1.5 billion rehabilitation project for the refinery in 2019, with the aim of restoring it to its nameplate capacity of 210,000 barrels per day (bpd).
In August, Lokpobiri and Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, assured Nigerians that the refinery would be operational by December 2023.
Kyari reaffirmed this commitment during a budget defense session on December 9, stating that the Port Harcourt refinery would commence operations by the end of December 2023.
Kyari also outlined future plans, noting that the Warri refinery would start operating in early 2024, and the Kaduna refinery was expected to commence operations by the end of 2024.
He emphasized, “I can confirm to you that by the end of December this year, we will start the Port Harcourt refinery; early in the first quarter of 2024, we will start the Warri refinery, and by the end of 2024, Kaduna refinery will come into operation.”