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    Saturday, August 26, 2023

    Port Harcourt Refinery to Be Completed December, says FG

    The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, has again assured that there is no going back on the December 2023 deadline for Port Harcourt refinery, which is currently undergoing refurbishment to come on stream.

    The Minister gave the assurance yesterday in Port Harcourt shortly after inspecting the refinery facilities to ascertain the level of work done.

    Lokpobiri also noted that the Warri refinery will start functioning by first quarter of 2024, while the Kaduna and Dangote refineries will come on stream towards the end of next year.

    These, according to the Minister, will stop fuel importation in the country and enable Nigerians to enjoy the full benefits of deregulation.

    The Guardian recalls that rehabilitation works commenced at the Port Harcourt Refinery on May 2021, after the Federal Executive Council approved the sum of $1.5 billion for the exercise.

    The facility operates two refineries – the old refinery with a capacity of 60,000 barrels per stream day (bpsd) and new refinery with an installed capacity of 150,000 bpsd.

    The two refineries bring the Port Harcourt refinery’s combined crude processing capacity to 210,000 bpsd.

    The deadline for the refinery to become functional has been shifted twice. It was earlier scheduled to become functional by December 2022 by former Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva but that failed. Later, the date was shifted to March 2023.

    Lokpobiri has, however, assured that there’s no going back on the current deadline.

    Speaking after inspecting the facilities yesterday, he said: “Our objective is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria will stop fuel importation. The idea is to ensure that we complete these refineries on time to enable the people enjoy the benefits of deregulation.

    “These things take time to do, but Nigerians should expect better supply of fuel and better economy. We believe that this projects will be completed as scheduled to renew the hopes of Nigerians.”

    Also speaking, the Minister for State for Gas Resources, Kperikpe Ekpo, said government is desperate to generate more gas that can boost power supply and also reduce the burden of fuel consumption.

    He assured of the Federal Government’s resolve to stop gas flaring, saying, “Gas flaring will stop and gas generation will increase so that we have uninterrupted power supply in the country.  I am satisfied with what I have seen in Port Harcourt refinery facilities.”

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