Why Port-Harcourt Refinery Has Not Began Production – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has said that it is still test-running the Port Harcourt Refinery to ensure operational readiness before the commencement of commercial operations.

The Refinery was expected to resume refining after a Turn Around Maintenance in December 2023.

It was gathered that the test-running exercise will be followed by crude supply.


The Chief Corporate Communications Officer, of the NNPC Ltd., Olufemi Oladapo Soneye, confirmed this on Monday.

“We have said that the Port Harcourt Refinery has been completed. Test running is ongoing. It is targeted at ensuring that everything, including the lines, is in perfect condition. It is when everything is confirmed to be fine that supply of crude for refining can start,” Soneye said.

Recall that the NNPC Ltd. had said it achieved the mechanical completion of rehabilitation work on the Area 5 Plant of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).


“Rehabilitation work has been ongoing at the Refinery for over two years and the NNPC Ltd. had pledged to complete Phase One of the project (mechanical completion and flare start-up) of Old Port Harcourt Refinery (Area 5) by 31st December 2023.”

Speaking during an inspection tour of the rehabilitation project, which also coincided with the 15th Refineries’ Rehabilitation Steering Committee Meeting, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd., Mr. Mele Kyari, had said as of December 15th, 2023, 84.4% of Area 5 Plant, a key component of the Refinery, and 77.4% of the entire rehabilitation project have been completed.

He said: “In our quest to ensure that this refinery is re-streamed to continue to deliver value to Nigerians, we made a promise that we will 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.”


Similarly, the Chairman of the NNPC Ltd Board, Pius Akinyelure described the milestone as “historic”, stressing that the board was proud of the staff and management of the refinery.

“We are just starting. We want to be at the highest level of production so that we will keep the prices of petroleum prices in the country stable to give comfort to our people and generate more revenue for our country,” Akinyelure noted.

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, said the milestone is another landmark of the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.


He appreciated Nigerians for their patience and the trust they have in NNPC Ltd.’s ability to deliver on this huge project.

On his part, the Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo said re-streaming the Refinery will herald a good omen for the nation’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) industry, as LPG, also known as cooking gas, is a major by-product of the Refinery.


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