The Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government has revealed that the Port Harcourt refinery will begin operations by December 2023.
Recall that the immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had said the old Port Harcourt refinery would become functional by the end of 2022.
Speaking at an event in March 2023, Sylva said the facility would commence refining activities before the end of the second quarter of 2023.
But the new minister of state for petroleum resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has said the Port Harcourt refinery will come on board by the end of the year following the level of progress recorded in the rehabilitation of the facility.
He stated this on Friday during an inspection tour of the rehabilitation work at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Limited plant, according to a statement by the spokesperson for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Garba Muhammad,
The minister added that the Warri refinery will come on stream by the end of the first quarter of next year, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of next year.
Lokpobiri stated that he was satisfied with the ongoing rehabilitation work at the refinery, adding that the objective of the tour was to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria would stop fuel importation.
He said: “From what we have seen here today, Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board by the end of the year, Warri will come on stream by the end of the first quarter of next year, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of next year.
“If you add that to the Dangote Refinery, we will be able to stop fuel importation, and Nigerians will enjoy the full benefits of deregulation.”
Petrol Is Very Vital To Nigeria’s Economy
Also speaking at the tour, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, said petrol is very vital to Nigeria’s economy.
He said once all the refineries become operational, Nigerians will benefit from a better supply of petroleum products and domesticated foreign exchange, which will boost the country’s economy.
Nigeria Will Be A Net Exporter Of Petroleum Products
On his part, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of NNPC, Mele Kyari, said bringing back the refineries to their optimal levels is a national aspiration, adding that the company remains focused on delivering that.
Kyari assured that by next year, the country will be a net exporter of petroleum products.
He said: “We are aware of our nation’s challenges in terms of fuel supply. But we are not here to give excuses. We are focused on delivering this rehabilitation project, our two other refineries, and all other investments towards revamping the nation’s refining capacity.”
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