The Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited, Ahmed Dikko, has assured that the rehabilitation of the Old Port Harcourt Refinery with a refining capacity of 60, 000 barrels per day would be completed and put to use by the first quarter of 2023.
He 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 for an on the spot assessment of the $1.5 billion dollar rehabilitation project of the facility.
Dikko said the Old Port Harcourt refinery, referred to as Area Five, would be the first of three phases of the project.
He said by the time the entire project is completed by the end of 2024, the facility would have a refining capacity of 210 bpd.
Dikko expressed confidence that they would stick to the timelines and within the cost approved for the project.
He said despite costing more, some of the equipment required for the rehabilitation had to be air freighted to ensure that they stick as much as possible to the schedule that they have.
“We plan to finish Area 5 by the first quarter of next year, so we can begin to run it. It is the old refinery. It is a 60, 000 barrels per day capacity plant and it is a priority for us at this point. The other parts of the refinery would come a few months after that.
“We are on track and managing the process very well and would continue to do the best we can at all times to ensure that we meet these expectations we put on ourselves so we all would be proud of all these activities and begin to have some refining capacity in Port Harcourt,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the House of Representatives for their support.
Chairman of the House Ad-Hoc Committee, Hon Ganiyu Johnson, who was conducted round the facility along with his members by the MD expressed satisfaction with the level of work.
He said: “So far on behalf of my committee members, we are satisfied with the level of work, because we did not expect this level of performance when we left Abuja. But after going round we are satisfied with the level of performance.
“Nigerians should bear with the company. We know that the solution to all oil subsidy is the refineries. The oil subsidy would be a thing of the past. We should be able to reduce it to the barest minimum.
“We owe Nigerians the duty to ensure this place is working. Because if these refineries are not working, we would continue to suffer and God forbid we hope it would not get to a stage an average man cannot buy fuel and that is why we really want to encourage you and support you and make sure you complete this refinery. Even if it is just Port Harcourt for now, it means we would be able to deliver 210, 000 bpd.”
He urged the MD to fast track the completion of the refinery and make sure it is delivered on schedule.