Niger Delta Entrepreneur commend Tinubu over re-opening of PH refinery


Port Harcourt Refinery

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Jubilations and excitement  have welcomed the test run of the hitherto moribund Port Harcourt Petroleum Refinery preparatory to its official re-opening for operation.

A Niger Delta based entrepreneur and founder of Abitto Global Services limited, Mr. Richard Akinaka, has commended President Ahmed Tinubu over the planned timely and successful re-opening of the  refinery.

According to Akinaka,the re-opening of the PH Refinery will have major and significant impact on Nigeria’s oil production and economy.

Mr. Richard Akinaka, who is voted as one of the outstanding Young Entrepreneur from the Niger Delta region, in a chat with newsmen on Thursday said the revamp and commencement of production by the refinery will help reduce the pressure on the nation’s currency and inflow of forex.

He added that it is also an advantage to the pursuit of Nigeria’s zero petroleum oil product import.

Richard Akinaka,Founder Abitto Global Services Limited commends President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for planned reopening of the Port Harcourt Refinery Petroleum limited.

Akinaka further commended Port Harcourt Refinery management led by Engr. Ibrahim Onaja, and Technomont contractor for their tireless work,unwavering dedication and commitment to the realization of the objectives of rehabilitation of the Refinery.

He said the new near new state of the Refinery is a testament of how leadership is crucial to any sector as proven by Mr. Onoja and his team.

Akinaka, in expressing the economic significance of the refinery, said, “The revitalization of the Port Harcourt Refinery is not just about enhancing our energy capabilities; it is a powerful catalyst for economic growth”.

He also pointed out that “when the Refinery becomes fully operational, it means an increased job opportunities, a boost to local businesses, and a ripple effect that will elevate the standard of living for our community.”

The refinery’s imminent operation is not just a fulfillment of a commitment; it is a beacon of hope for our economy, signaling a new era of self-reliance and prosperity.”

Meanwhile, as the Port Harcourt Refinery nears its full operational capacity, he called on the host communities , the Eleme and Okrika people to work in synergy with the Refinery as it is poised to reap the rewards of economic revitalization.

He maintained that this achievement is a collaborative effort that will shape the future of the region. “Let us view the refinery as more than just an industrial facility; it is a symbol of our shared progress, a testament to what we can achieve when we work together towards a common goal”

In a final call to action, Akinaka urged fellow citizens and indigenes of host communities of the project to see the projects as theirs and protect government assets.

He added,”This is our refinery, our economic engine. Let us stand united in safeguarding and nurturing this valuable asset that holds the key to our community’s economic prosperity. Together, we can ensure that the benefits of the Port Harcourt Refinery reach every corner of Okrika, creating a legacy of prosperity for generations to come”.

In a related development,the immediate past Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Rivers State, Dr Joseph Obele, has said the first phase of the rehabilitation work at the Port Harcourt Refinery has been completed and it is undergoing a test run.

Obele, whose association was saddled with the oversight of the facility during his tenure as IPMAN Chairman in the state, said the first phase of the rehabilitation was presently undergoing a test run.

The December completion deadline set by the Federal Government has become a matter of controversy as stakeholders in the oil industry had expressed strong reservations on the December delivery date.

Recall that the Minister of State for Petroleum, (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, had during his visit to the refinery assured Nigerians that the first phase of the rehabilitation work would be completed by December 2023.

NNPC achieves mechanical completion of Port Harcourt refinery

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, on Thursday said that it has delivered on the mechanical completion of rehabilitation work on Area 5 Plant of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).

Speaking during an inspection tour of the project on Thursday, Mele Kyari, the group chief executive officer of NNPC Ltd., said as of December 15th, 2023, 84.4 per cent of Area 5 Plant, a key component of the Refinery, and 77.4 per cent of the entire rehabilitation project had been completed.

The $1.5 billion rehabilitation project was launched by the Buhari administration in 2019, to restore the aging refinery to its nameplate capacity of 210,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Kyari in a statement issued by Olufemi O. Soneye, chief corporate communications officer, NNPC Ltd. said, “In our quest to ensure that this refinery is re-streamed to continue to deliver value to Nigerians, we made a promise that we will reach a mechanical completion of phase one of the rehabilitation project by the end of December and get the other plants running in 2024. Today, we have kept those commitments.”

In his remarks, the Chairman of the NNPC Ltd Board, Chief Pius Akinyelure, said, “We are just starting. We want to be at the highest production level so that we will keep the prices of petroleum in the country stable to comfort our people and generate more revenue for our country.”

Also speaking at the event, Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), said the staged completion of the project will herald the commencement of the production of petroleum products after the Christmas break.

“Just to announce to Nigerians the fulfilment of our pledge to bring on stream phase one of the Port Harcourt refinery by the end of 2023 and the subsequent streaming of phase two in 2024. We happily announced the mechanical completion and the flare start-off on the 20th of December, 2023.

“This heralds the commencement of production of petroleum products after the Christmas break. We want to thank Nigerians for their patience and trust in the NNPC to deliver on her promise and mandate of rehabilitating our refineries. This is also another landmark of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration. Congratulations to NNPC and congratulations to Nigerians,” he said.

In his remarks, Fabio Del Cioppo, the Managing Director of Tecnimont Nig. Ltd., one of the EPC Contractors of the Rehabilitation Project, said his company remains committed to fulfilling the terms of the contract.

“The PHRC rehabilitation project, which costs about $1.5bn, is an EPCIC project that covers engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning phases. For Area 5, the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Installation have all been completed. The mechanical completion signifies the closure of the Construction and Installation phases.

“More importantly, the milestone was achieved under an excellent Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) record, which stood at over 9.5 million man-hours with zero Loss Time Injury (LTI),” it stated.