Port Harcourt Refinery Almost 90% Completed – Senate Committee

Port Harcourt Refinery Nears Completion

Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, Chairman of the Senate ad hoc committee investigating Turnaround Maintenance of Nigeria’s Refineries, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery is nearing 90% completion and is expected to become operational before the end of the year. This update comes after the federal government missed the February 2024 deadline for the refinery’s commencement of operations.

The Port Harcourt refinery, located in Rivers State, has long been a focal point of Nigeria’s efforts to revamp its oil sector and achieve energy self-sufficiency. With a capacity of 210,000 barrels per day, the refinery plays a crucial role in meeting the nation’s domestic demand for refined petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel. However, years of neglect, underinvestment, and operational inefficiencies have plagued the refinery, leading to frequent breakdowns, production bottlenecks, and a reliance on imported fuel to meet demand.

During a visit to Governor Similanayi Fubara of Rivers State at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Senator Ubah expressed confidence in the refinery’s progress. He highlighted the committee’s commitment to investigating the work done and assessing the readiness of the old and new Port Harcourt refineries to resume operations.

He said, “We will recall that the old Port Harcourt Refinery was the first refinery in Nigeria built in 1965, and the second one in 1989. And for so long now, they have not been in active operations.

“And with the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President, and the desire of Nigerians and our determination, the Senate led by our President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, we had a resolution in the Senate to look at it and make sure that Nigeria’s refineries are working so that we shouldn’t depend on importation of petroleum products.

“That is one of the reasons we are here: to look into the contract and investigate the level of compliance with the contract specifications.

“We are pleased to note that what we saw is most encouraging as the refinery upgrade and full rehabilitation is almost at 90 per cent completed. We are confident that the refinery will soon be operational before the end of the year,”

Governor Fubara reaffirmed the state government’s alignment with federal policies aimed at improving Nigerians’ lives. He highlighted infrastructure developments, including the ongoing construction of the Woji-Aleto-Alesa-Refinery Road, which aims to ease access to the Port Harcourt Refinery and alleviate traffic congestion on the East-West Road.

Governor Fubara pointed out that the refinery’s eventual revamping and operationalization would benefit both the Federal Government and the host Rivers State.

“When the refinery restarts production, petroleum products will be available locally. The issue of importation will go down. We will now make an impact, the economy will grow, and internally generated revenue will increase. More projects will be executed in this state. You can see that it’s a chain effect thing. So, I want to thank you,” he said.

Governor Fubara added, “We might be a state that is presented as having issues. But we don’t have any issues. Our eyes are on the ball to deliver for our people. Even in the face of this deliberate distraction, we will not fail our people because, in the end, it is the impact we make on our people that counts.”

Despite these challenges, Senator Ubah’s announcement instills confidence in the government’s determination to overcome obstacles and deliver on its promise of revitalizing Nigeria’s refineries. With the Port Harcourt refinery on the cusp of completion, there is renewed optimism about the future of Nigeria’s oil industry and its potential to drive sustainable economic development.

Looking ahead, it is imperative for all stakeholders to remain committed to ensuring the timely and successful completion of the Port Harcourt refinery rehabilitation project. This includes continued investment in infrastructure, technology, and human capital, as well as effective oversight and accountability mechanisms to safeguard against future setbacks.

The nearing completion of the Port Harcourt refinery represents a significant milestone in Nigeria’s quest for energy independence and economic prosperity. As the country prepares to usher in a new era of self-sufficiency in refining, the Port Harcourt refinery stands as a symbol of resilience, innovation, and collective determination to build a brighter future for all Nigerians.

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