The Port Harcourt refinery is set to undergo a face-lift, as the federal government has commenced efforts to rehabilitate it.
The rehabilitation of the 210,000 barrels per day capacity refinery was flagged was the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru on Thursday.
The rehabilitation is coming 19 years after the last Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) exercise was conducted on the refinery.
The NNPC in a release signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the project would be executed by Milan-based Maire Tecnimont S.p.A, in collaboration with its Nigerian affiliate, Tecnimont Nigeria.
The NNPC’s spokesman quoted the GMD as saying that at the end of the phase 1, the Refinery complex should be able to reach 60 per cent capacity utilisation.
Ughamadu stated that NNPC was engaging eni/NAOC as Technical Advisor to support the Rehabilitation of PHRC, saying NNPC/PHRC would leverage eni’s extensive refinery supply chain network and warehouses to procure critical materials for the programme.
He noted the first phase of the rehabilitation contract which would run for six months will involve detailed integrity check and equipment inspection of the Port-Harcourt Refinery complex beginning from end of March, 2019.
The integrity test comes as a forerunner to the second phase of the rehabilitation project which entails a comprehensive revamp of the complex aimed at restoring the refinery to a minimum of 90 per cent capacity utilisation.
Subject to the successful completion of the integrity checks, Phase 2 of the project would be executed on an Engineering Procurement Construction basis by Tecnimont in collaboration with the original builders of the plant, JGC of Japan.
Speaking on behalf of the contractors, Antonio Vella, Chief Officer, Upstream, Eni, said all the companies involved would deploy all available modern resources to ensure effective upgrade of the plant.
Vella enthused that with the commitment of all parties involved, it was certain that NNPC would be able to celebrate the revamp of the PHRC that would lead to its full capacity utilization on schedule and in full safety.
Speaking on behalf of the workers unions, Comrade Odor Victor Ayiri, Branch Chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and Comrade Dibiah Joseph, Chairman of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), jointly pledged the support of workers to ensuring a smooth turnaround of the facility.
It will be recalled that the NNPC had to abandon its earlier funding strategy by its DSDP Term Contractors/Consortia due to onerous conditions demanded after more than twelve (12) months of negotiations.
NNPC has resolved to immediate direct funding from internal cash flows while it goes to the financial markets for debt financing.
NNPC further segmented the Rehabilitation to begin with Port-Harcourt Refinery Complex and then progress to Warri and Kaduna Refinery complexes using the same methodology.
The Port Harcourt refinery was built in 1965 with a 60,000 barrels per day capacity.
Additional 150,000 capacity barrels per day facility was added, and was commissioned in 1989.