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The federal government has confirmed that the Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company in Rivers State formally began for operation on Thursday.

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On December 20, 2023, the plant’s first phase of construction was completed, and it was put into use. Additionally, it said that following the Christmas holiday, refined petroleum products would start to flow from the refinery.

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The government had stated earlier in the year that the Port Harcourt refinery will begin operations before the end of 2023.

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Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), thanked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and Nigerians overall on their achievement as he led committee members on a tour of the facility.

Nigeria’s refineries at Warri, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt have been idle for decades as the country’s federal government has invested billions of naira in modernizing the infrastructure.

At the refinery, Lokpobiri said, “The meeting today coincides with the commencement of operations at the Port Harcourt refinery.”

“We are happy to announce the mechanical completion of flare start-up on December 20, 2023,” he continued, “in fulfillment of our pledge to complete phase one of the Port Harcourt refinery by the end of 2023 and the subsequent streaming of phase two in 2024.”

This’ll signals the start of petroleum product manufacturing following the Christmas holiday. We would like to express our gratitude to Nigerians for their endurance and faith in the NNPC to fulfill its purpose and fulfill its pledge to rehabilitate our refineries.

Additionally, Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, stated that the company’s workers put in over 9.6 million man-hours of nonstop work to restart the refinery.

The PUNCH revealed on April 7, 2021, that the NNPC and Tecnimont SPA had formally signed a deal for the $1.5 billion Port Harcourt Refining Company rehabilitation project.

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