January 09, (THEWILL) – The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Monday, said the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery has been completed and will begin production by the first quarter of 2023.
Speaking on Monday, at the presentation of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard (2015 – 2023), Sylva said the plant would refine 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
“The rehabilitation of the 60,000 barrels per day is completed and it is going to be started in the first quarter”, he said.
Sylva also said the Refinery, along with the Dangote Refinery will end the importation of petroleum products into Nigeria when they commence full operation.
The minister also revealed that Dangote Refinery has already concluded its sourcing of feedstock (crude oil) with NNPCL. However, the modular refineries were still negotiating their contracts for the stock in the bid to begin refining.
He explained that the private refineries that have been completed need to have a feedstock guarantee for them to commence production.
Sylva added that by next month, the contracting process would have been completed for them to start production.
On petrol subsidy, the minister noted it is no longer sustainable for the Federal Government to keep paying the subsidy support.
Asked whether the fund that was so far spent on payment of subsidy would not have been enough to build new refineries, he said perhaps when the subsidy support is removed, the government could channel the fund into infrastructure development such as the building of a new refinery.
Explaining delays in the completion of rehabilitation works on the Port Harcourt refinery, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mallam Mele Kyari, explained that “the total rehabilitation of the refinery will take 42 months from the date of the award of the contract.
“And typical of every refinery rehabilitation, we do them in phases and we promised to start the polyplastic 60,000 barrels per day and complete the activity by the last quarter of 2022.
“But it was not practicable. But we will start it up in the first quarter of 2023. Otherwise, every other process is going on.”