HomeBiggest projectsRehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery Complex in River State Nigeria

Rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery Complex in River State Nigeria

The Nigerian government has stated that it is unlikely for the Port Harcourt refinery to restart in December. Last month, the Nigerian government pledged that the nation’s largest oil refinery will resume operations in December.

This would mark the culmination of a renovation project that had been underway for more than a year. The Refinery consists of two units, with the new plant having a capacity of 60,000 BPD and the old plant having a capacity of 210,000 BPD for refining.

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Despite the significant sums put aside for its reconstruction, the Port Harcourt refinery has consistently performed below expectations. As a result, it led to the importation of petroleum products for domestic use. So as to fill the production gap left by the refinery, which came at a high financial cost.

The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of rehabilitation work. This occurred after the government hired Maire Tecnimont of Italy to undertake the scoping of the refinery complex.

Port Harcourt refinery received $1.5b for repairs from FEC

NNPC Limited reported in 2021 that repairs had begun following FEC’s approval of $1.5 billion for the project.

The government stated that several sources, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Afreximbank, will provide funds for the project.

According to Mr. Sylva, Junior Oil Minister, the first phase was previously planned to be finished by December 2022, while the second and third stages were planned to be finished by 24 months and 44 months, respectively.

According to sylva, after 33 months of Port Harcourt refinery project execution in Areas 1 & 2 of the complex, Phase 2 of the rehabilitation project will restore the Port Harcourt refinery to a processing capacity of 135,000 bpd (90%) and deliver a total processing capacity of 189,000 bpd by December 2023.

Port Harcourt Refinery overview 

The Port Harcourt refinery complex is 210,000 barrels per day conversion plant that is operated by the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Limited, a subsidiary of the NNPC.

The complex is made up of two refineries located at Alesa-Eleme, Rivers State. The old refinery (a hydro skimming refinery) has a refining nameplate capacity of 60,000 barrels per day and it was commissioned in 1965, while on the other hand, the new plant (a full-conversion refinery) has a nameplate capacity of 150,000 barrels per day and was commissioned in 1989.

The entire complex utilizes bonny light crude oil to produce Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), premium motor spirit (PMS), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO), and High Pour Fuel Oil (HPFO).

However, the complex barely reaches its nameplate capacity hence the rehabilitation project. Upon completion, the project will restore the complex to a minimum of 90% of its nameplate capacity.

Reported earlier

Jun 2014

Nigeria’s Port Harcourt refinery to return to full capacity

Kaduna refinery

Port Harcourt refinery will return to full installed capacity this year, just as the Kaduna refinery is expected to run at 100 % capacity by 2015. This is due to the deployment of General Electric’s three 25-megawatt (MW), aero-derivative gas turbines to generate uninterrupted power at the PHRC.

The installation of GE’s mobile gas turbines at the Port Harcourt refinery would ensure that Nigeria’s largest refinery has the power it needs to overcome chronic grid outages, which have reduced Port Harcourt refinery output to 30 %of its total capacity of 210,000 barrels per day. The outages and other factors have forced Nigeria to import large volumes of refined petroleum products to meet its domestic needs.

Speaking on the deployment of GE’s distributed power technology to ensure reliable energy supply, Mr. Akinwole Omoboriowo, Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Genesis Electricity Limited, said the three turbines will provide both the base-load and backup power to support refinery operations.

“This project is not only important in getting the refinery back into full operation but also to support Nigeria’s long-term economic interests by achieving optimum refining capacity,” he added.

The three gas turbines are expected to start commercial operation in August 2014, and as a result, Nigeria will be able to drastically reduce its use of imported refined fuel products.

Jun 2015

The Port Harcourt refinery plant in Nigeria set to resume operation by July

Port Harcourt refinery

The Port Harcourt refinery plant in Nigeria is set to resume operation by July this year. This was confirmed by Joseph Dawha the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director in Abuja. The refinery is expected to produce 5 million liters a day in order to fill the gap in the country’s domestic demand for fuel consumption.

The good news comes after the Port Harcourt refinery went through a thorough unit-by-unit rehabilitation also known as the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) which was revised and adopted to benefit the country’s refineries among them being the Warri and Kaduna which are the first refineries to benefit from the TAM. Beginning in July they are expected to commence petroleum product refining.

The corporation is optimistic that the TAM on other refineries in the country will be completed in the next 18 months to make a vital contribution to reducing petrol importation demands since the refining will be done domestically for easy access to the product.

Presently, the country consumes about a 40million liters of fuel a day, while the country’s main refineries in Port Harcourt feed the country with an insufficient capacity of only 210,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The other refineries in Kaduna and Warri produce a total of 110,000 barrels and 125,000 barrels a day respectively bringing it to a total of 445,000 barrels a day from the four refineries in the country.

According to the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) Managing Director, Mr. Haruna Momoh, at 80% the Port Harcourt refinery will definitely be capable of delivering 5 million liters of petrol in a day. Nonetheless, the NNPC has a stock of 1.1billion of liters that will take the country for a maximum of 27 days as the country awaits the refinery’s full operation this July.

Nov 2020

Nigeria: Phase 2 rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery to start in Q1 2021

Port Harcourt refinery

Mallam Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director at the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) has disclosed that the second phase of rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery would commence in the first quarter of next year.

Addressing a media parley with Energy Correspondents in Abuja the MD said, “I am happy to announce that the funding challenge which had stalled the second phase of the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery has been resolved and the contract for the implementation of the works will be awarded soon. The project should commence in Q1 2021.”

Revamping pipeline network

Kyari also disclosed that the company is in the process of strengthening the products distribution system by revamping its pipeline network through a Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) model whose process is already at an advanced stage.

Also Read: Nigeria: Construction work begins on a natural gas plant at Imo State

“NNPC’s vision of revamping the pipelines is in tandem with the Refineries Rehabilitation Project that aims to ensure that four refineries are up and running in the course of the next three years,” he explained.

Efforts to boost exploration and production

The GMD said that much had been put in place to boost oil exploration and production with an aim of raising national reserves to 40 billion barrels and daily production to 3 million.

“A number of disputes that hampered production activities such as the one involving Shell and Belema Oil that shut in over 30,000 barrels per day production in OML 25 have been resolved and we, therefore, expect an increase in production to meet the 3m barrels per day production target.

The cooperation is also supporting private sector investors who are driving refinery projects across the country to promote local refining. This is with a view to attaining self-sufficiency in refining and transforming Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products according to Kyari.

April 2021

Nigeria awards contract for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refining complex

Port Harcourt refinery

The Nigerian government’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) has awarded Tecnimont SPA, (an international leader in large-scale contracting for the EPC sectors and a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont SPA), a contract to carry out the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refining complex in River state.

Featuring a 60,000-b/sd hydro skimming refinery and 150,000-b/sd full-conversion refinery, the Port Harcourt complex is owned by Port Harcourt Refining Co. Ltd. (PHRC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC).

The overall contract’s value is approximately US$ 1.5bn according to Maire Tecnimont S.p., the Italy-based company at the head of an international industrial group specializing in the transformation of natural resources particularly plant engineering in downstream oil & gas.

Scope of the project

As part of the contract, Tecnimont SPA will deliver engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) activities for the full rehabilitation project, which aims to restore the complex to a minimum of 90% of its nameplate capacity.

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The project will be executed in phases over 24 to 32 months, with the final stage expected to be completed by the end of the year 2024, or 44 months from the date the contract was awarded.

Mallam Mele Kyari, NNPC’s group managing director, assured that NNPC will continue to move forward with the presidential mandate to fix the country’s federally owned refineries, which will include future works at NNPC subsidiaries Warri Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd.’s 125,000-b/sd refinery in Delta state, and Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd.’s 110,000-b/sd refinery in Kaduna state.

Jul 2021

Port Harcourt Refinery Complex in Nigeria to start partial operation in Sep 2022

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through Kennie Obateru, the company’s Public Affairs Division Group General Manager, has announced that the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery Complex in River state is making progress and that the facility would start partial operation in September 2022.

This announcement comes barely three months after the Nigerian government’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) awarded Tecnimont SPA, a contract to carry out the rehabilitation works of the said refinery.

Also Read: Nigeria awards contract for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refining complex

Mr. Obateru however stressed that the entire rehabilitation program would be over in 44 months as announced earlier.

“As we said earlier, the rehabilitation works will be completed within 44 months from April this year, when the contract was awarded. But, by the time we reach the 18 months mark, a section of the refinery will be operational. The total rehabilitation job, which would allow the facility to reach its full capacity, will be completed in 44 months,” he affirmed.

Old Port Harcourt Refinery/Area 5 to be put to use by Q1 2023

The rehabilitation of the Old Port Harcourt Refinery will be completed and put to use by the first quarter of 2023. This is the assurance made recently by the Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited, Ahmed Dikko.

Dikko gave the assurance when the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on the state of the country’s refineries visited the facility in Rivers State. The aim of the visit was to have an on-the-spot assessment of the US$ 1.5bn rehabilitation project of the facility.

The MD explained that the 60,000 barrels per day Old Port Harcourt refinery, also referred to as ‘Area 5’, would be the first of three phases of the entire project. By the time the project is fully completed i.e. by the end of 2024, the Port Harcourt Refinery would have a refining capacity of 210,000 BPD.

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Dikko was confident that they would stick to the project’s timelines and that the funds approved. He said, “We plan to finish Area 5 by the first quarter of next year. It is a priority for us at this point. The other parts of the refinery would come a few months afterward. We are on track and managing the process very well. We will continue to do the best we can at all times to ensure that we meet these expectations we put on ourselves. That way we all would be proud of all these activities and begin to have some refining capacity in Port Harcourt.”

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