As variously promised by the Federal Government, the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRCL with a combined capacity of 210,000 barrels per day has commenced operation on Wednesday.
According to a video circulating online, the refinery’s flare indicated the commencement of oil refining.
The development came months after the Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil) Senator Heineken Lokpobiri said in August that the Port Harcourt refinery would commence operation in December 2023.
According to the minister, the objective was to ensure the country stoppef importing fuel.
Corroborating Lokpobiri’s stance, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, (NNPCL) declared that importing petroleum products into the country would cease by December 2024.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, said, “I can confirm to you that by the end of December this year, we will start the Port Harcourt Refinery; early in the first quarter of 2024, we will start the Warri Refinery, and by the end of 2024, Kaduna Refinery will come into operation.”
In March 2021, the Federal Executive Council approved $1.5 billion to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt Refinery.
Accordingly, data showed that the Nigerian government has spent N11.35 trillion ($25 billion) in the past ten years on fixing the country’s three refineries.
Meanwhile, with the commencement of Port Harcourt Refinery, stakeholders in the downstream sector said the price of fuel, which is over N617/litre, may drop.