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The rehabilitation of 60,000 barrels per day Port Harcourt refinery has been completed and will begin production by the first quarter of 2023.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said this at the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard (2015 – 2023) in Abuja.

“The rehabilitation of the 60,000 barrels per day is completed and it is going to be started in the first quarter,” he said.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Group Chief  Executive Officer, Mallam Mele Kyari, explained that it was not practicable to start production in the last quarter of 2022 as promised.

Kyari noted that rehabilitation of refineries takes 42 months from the date of signing its contract.

According to him, since the rehabilitation is done in phases, the plan was to complete the activities by the last quarter of 2022 but it was not achievable.

The NNPC boss, however, said the process was on course.

Kyari said: “The total rehabilitation of the refinery will take 42 months from the date of the award of the contract.

“And typical of every refinery rehabilitation, we do them in phases and we promised to start the polyplastic 60,000 barrels per day and complete the activity by the last quarter of 2022.

“But it was not practicable. But we will start it up in the first quarter of 2023. 

“Otherwise, every other process is going on.”

According to Sylva, Dangote Refinery in which the NNPCL holds 20 per cent shares, Waltersmith 30 per cent shares and Duport 30 per cent will come on stream this year.

He noted that their commencement of production will be the end of the importation of petroleum products into Nigeria.

The minister also revealed that Dangote Refinery has already concluded its sourcing of feedstock (crude oil) with NNPCL but the modular refineries were still negotiating their contracts for the stock in the bid to begin refining. 

He explained that the private refineries that have been completed need to have a feedstock guarantee for them to commence production.

Sylva added that by next month, the contracting process would have been completed for them to start production.

On petrol subsidy, the minister noted it is no longer sustainable for the Federal Government to keep paying the subsidy support.

Asked whether the fund that was so far spent on payment of subsidy would not have been enough to build new refineries, he said perhaps when the subsidy support is removed, the government could channel the fund into infrastructure development such as the building of a new refinery.

THE NATION NEWSPAPER

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