PORT HARCOURT REFINERY AIMS FOR FUNCTIONALITY BY DECEMBER 2023

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The Port Harcourt refinery in Nigeria is gearing up for potential functionality by December 2023, as stated by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri. The refinery, with a capacity of 60,000 barrels per day, had undergone its first phase of repair works in 2019; after receiving $1.5 billion in approval from the federal executive council.

Previously, former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had set a December 2022 deadline for the refinery’s restart after a comprehensive revamp. However, the deadline was missed, and no explanation was given for the delay. In an attempt to address the public’s concerns and boost local refining capacity, Lokpobiri has now set a new deadline of December 2023.

The Nigerian public is keen on local refining efforts due to the impact of rising petrol prices on the cost of goods and overall economic pressure. The country’s dependency on imported fuel calls for an urgent refinery restart to ease this pressure. However, it’s crucial for all stakeholders to address the ongoing issue of oil theft, which the National Security Adviser estimates results in a loss of 400,000 barrels of crude oil daily.

As the December 2023 deadline approaches, Nigerians will be looking for accountability and results from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to ensure the refinery becomes operational. Hopes have been raised, and fingers are crossed as the people are watching to see if this timeline will be successfully met. Also, the expectation is that all parties involved must collaborate to ensure its achievement.

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