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PH Refinery

NNPC Hopes On PH Refinery To End Scarcity

…Refinery To Produce 5 Million Liters of Petrol Per Day

Federal government has expressed hope that the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery will soon yield significant dividend by delivering over five million liters of petrol to the domestic market daily.

Sopuruchi Onwuka

Federal government had declared that the country’s biggest refinery, Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC), is lead the challenge of crashing the nation’s petroleum import bills by displacing five million liters of daily petrol supply from importation list. The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Joseph Dawha, declared in Abuja that the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited will start refining crude oil and contribute to petroleum product availability by the end of July month. He said, “Presently, the refineries are undergoing rehabilitation and we are undertaking what we call a new strategy to carry out the turnaround maintenance on them.

Basically, what this means is that we are carrying out phased implementation of rehabilitation of the refineries. “For example, the Port Harcourt refinery, which has reached an advanced stage, will start receiving crude by end of this month and then of course will start contributing to the available products in the country.” “I’ve heard some people say we have neglected the refineries, no, farther from that. We hope that at the end of the exercise, these refineries will be fully back into operation and we will minimise some of the problems we have with importation.” Managing Director of PHRC, Dr. Bafred Audu Enjugu, stated that the rehabilitation of the plants would translate to substantial economic value to the country and contribute to resolution of the issues associated with massive importation of petroleum products in the country.

Executive Director in charge of Services at PHRC, Sir Ralph Ugwu, stated that the rehabilitation is expected to enable the refinery displace significant volume of petroleum products currently imported into the country, substantially cut subsidy bill on government, and also evolve a sustainable model for use of in-country capacity for maintenance of all local refineries. He said the rehabilitation programme is carried out in phases in a strategy that would permit operations to progress at available units of the complex from July while upgrade continues on other processing units that yield premium value products.

According to him, the rehabilitation work is to be carried out by indigenous workforce without compromising standards, adding that the project model would give full expression to the targets and objectives of the highly applauded Nigerian Content policy which, he explained, has been very successful in the upstream sector of the petroleum industry. With the project, he said, PHRC would lead implementation and compliance of Nigerian Content policy in the downstream end of the industry. When completed, Mr Ugwu said, the refinery is to significantly address the prevailing acute supply shortages in the domestic market and lay a sustainable model for meeting the country’s fuel needs and generating full economic value across the chain.

On the commercial side, he said the N11.5 billion profit declared by the company in within one month of operation in January strongly supports that the refinery would run very profitably at the end of the exercise, ruling out fears that the highly awaited relief from the company would not be a flash in the pan.

Already, over 80 percent of the tools, equipment and sundry spare parts required for the rehabilitation and upgrade have been successfully procured from the original equipment manufacturers while technical crew of the of the company and indigenous contractors have been fully deployed on different schedules of the job. Managing Director of Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Prince Haruna Momoh, stated in Abuja that his company was expecting substantial volumes of petroleum products from Port Harcourt Refinery from next month.

He noted that when the ongoing Rehabilitation currently driven by the management of PHRC Limited is completed in July, the plant would run at over 80 percent installed capacity and produce five million litres of petrol on a daily basis. Beyond the prevailing fuel supply crisis in the country, Dr. Enjugu pointed at other valued to be created by the revamping of the refinery to include the first full opportunity for indigenous workforce to handle a significant scope of refinery rehabilitation in the country, explaining that success of indigenous technicians at the job would resonate across Africa.

He also pointed out that cost saving has remained one of the greatest values so far, stressing that use of indigenous workforce has enabled the project move faster at low cost. He also pointed at the soaring level of confidence in the workers deployed in the job as well as discoveries that some of the parts could be fabricated locally right there in Port Harcourt using the same materials and standard codes as original equipment manufacturers.

Looking at what has been done so far, Dr. Enjugu declared that he is happy that the original refinery builders declined to do the job, explaining that their failure has provided the opportunity to discover that the job could indeed be locally done.

“The rehabilitation is expected to enable the refinery displace significant volume of petroleum products currently imported into the country, substantially cut subsidy bill on government, and also evolve a sustainable model for use of in-country capacity for maintenance of all local refineries.”

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