Over 75% of the Port Harcourt refinery project is completed. This is according to Ibrahim Onoja, the Managing Director of the refinery.
He said this in a report put together by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to show the level of progress recorded at the refinery.
The 53-year-old refinery is undergoing an overhaul and change of major equipment.
According to the report, the instrumentation and control unit is undergoing a complete overhaul, the rotating equipment comprising pumps and compressors have been upgraded and are all in place.
The report highlighted that electrical systems which include substations, transformers, switchgear, cables and panels are all brand new.
Also, static equipment like tanks, heater columns and drums are being refurbished.
Onoja also stated that the refinery rehabilitation has been on since April 2021, he also said 3000 workers are working on the project. He stated further that the rehabilitation project has recorded 8.3 million man-hours with zero lost time to injuries.
Is the December 2023 target feasible?
Onoja believes the Port Harcourt refinery will be ready by the deadline. This is because the ongoing work has been extensive. He said operations will begin this month with the production of petrol, liquefied petroleum gas, kerosene, low and high-pour fuel oil, and diesel.
Last month, Mele Kyari, the GCEO at NNPCL, stated that by the end of December this year, the Port Harcourt refinery would commence operations.
Additionally, in early 2024, the Warri refinery is slated to begin, and by the end of the same year, the Kaduna refinery is expected to come online.
Kyari affirmed this commitment, inviting accountability, asserting that these initiatives, including refinery rehabilitation, small-scale refinery efforts, and the upcoming Dangote refinery, aim to transform Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products by 2024.