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NNPC delivers on promise: Port Harcourt refinery achieves mechanical completion and flare start-up



NNPC delivers on promise: Port Harcourt refinery achieves mechanical completion and flare start-up

In a major breakthrough, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd. has successfully fulfilled its commitment to achieving the mechanical completion of the rehabilitation work on Area 5 Plant at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC). The completion of Phase One of the project, including mechanical completion and flare start-up, was a pledge made by NNPC Ltd., and it was accomplished within the stipulated timeframe.


Progress overview


Over the past two years, rehabilitation work has been underway at the Port Harcourt Refinery, with a focus on revitalizing the crucial Area 5 Plant. The NNPC Ltd. had set a target to complete Phase One by December 31, 2023, and during an inspection tour coinciding with the 15th Refineries’ Rehabilitation Steering Committee Meeting, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mele Kyari, reported significant achievements.


As of December 15, 2023, 84.4% of Area 5 Plant and 77.4% of the entire rehabilitation project have been completed, marking a substantial milestone in the ongoing efforts to rejuvenate the refinery.


CEO’s commitment


Mr. Mele Kyari expressed the commitment of NNPC Ltd. to the successful restoration of the refinery, stating, “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.”


Commending the efforts of NNPC Ltd.’s staff and the EPCIC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation, and Commissioning) contractors, Kyari acknowledged the significance of achieving this milestone for the refinery’s future.


Board Chairman’s perspective


Chief Pius Akinyelure, Chairman of the NNPC Ltd Board, described the achievement as “historic” and expressed pride in the dedication of the refinery’s staff and management. He emphasized that this is just the beginning, with the ultimate goal being to reach the highest level of production to stabilize petroleum prices in the country and generate more revenue.


Ministerial perspectives


The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, characterized the milestone as aligned with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, thanking Nigerians for their patience and trust in NNPC Ltd.’s capability to deliver on such a significant project.


Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, highlighted the positive impact on the nation’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) industry, as LPG, a major by-product of the refinery, is expected to see increased production.


Commitment from EPC contractors


Fabio Del Cioppo, Managing Director of Tecnimont Nig. Ltd., one of the EPC contractors involved in the Rehabilitation Project, affirmed the company’s commitment to fulfilling the terms of the contract.


Project overview


The PHRC rehabilitation project, estimated at about $1.5 billion, encompasses the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation, and Commissioning phases. For Area 5, all phases, including Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Installation, have been completed. The mechanical completion signifies the closure of the Construction and Installation phases.


Importantly, this achievement was realized with an outstanding Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) record, boasting over 9.5 million manhours with zero Loss Time Injury (LTI), underlining the project’s commitment to safety.


As the NNPC Ltd. celebrates this crucial milestone, it marks a significant step forward in the ongoing efforts to revitalize the Port Harcourt Refinery and contribute to the stability and growth of the Nigerian petroleum industry.

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