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Port Harcourt Refinery set to begin operations in April

…Stocks 450,000 barrels of oil

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, has said the Port Harcourt refinery will commence operations in about two weeks time.

According to Kyari, mechanical works have been completed on the Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna refineries, stressing that the Kaduna refinery will commence operations in December.

Kyari made this known in a press briefing after he appeared before the Senate Ad-hoc Committee investigating the various Turn Around Maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

He said, “We are serving this country with honour and dignity. And we will make sure that the promises we make on the rehabilitation of these refineries will take place.

“We did a mechanical completion of the refinery that was what we said in December. We now have crude oil already stocked in the refinery. We are doing regulatory compliance tests that must happen in every refinery before you start it, and I assure you that this Port Harcourt refinery will start in the next two weeks.

“Completing the mechanical work means that you are done with the rehabilitation work, now you have to test to see how it works. Of course, we have also completed the mechanical work on the Warri refinery. It is also undergoing regulatory compliance; processes that we are doing with our regulator, and this will soon be completed and it will be ready.

“Kaduna refinery will be ready by December. We have not reached that stage in Kaduna, but we promise Kaduna will be delivered by December.”

The NNPC GMD also told the Senate that over 450, 000 barrels of oil had been stocked into the Port Harcourt refinery.

He said, “All crude lines are active and have actually delivered over 450,000 barrels into Port Harcourt refinery.

“We are confident of the integrity of it. Yes, there may be security issues, but also the government is responding to the situation.”

Meanwhile, the Senate disowned the alleged report of fraud in the Turn Around Maintenance of the nation’s refineries currently being undertaken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited.

The Chairman of the Senate ad-hoc panel, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, told his colleagues that he already had some documents on the TAM and that no fraudulent practice had been discovered in the exercise.

Ubah said the country would want to know that progress is being made on the rehabilitation of the refineries

He said, “I have seen some documents indicating that something is being done and there is nothing to suggest that there is foul play in the exercise.”

He said members of the committee would visit all the refineries to ascertain the progress of work there so that a comprehensive report would be presented to the Senate in plenary soonest.

A member of the ad-hoc committee, Senator Mpigi Barnada, urged the NNPC Ltd management to pay attention to the security challenges in the oil-rich region.

Specifically, he said it would not augur well if the refineries are fixed and insecurity prevents crude from getting there.

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