Femi Soneye, the Spokesperson for the NNPCL, confirmed this development, stating, "Testing will conclude shortly, ensuring the refinery’s efficient operation. That phase will be completed this month."
Currently undergoing repairs, the refinery is poised to commence operations with an initial processing rate of 60,000 barrels per day, with the NNPCL aiming to reach its maximum capacity of 210,000 barrels per day later this year.
The Port Harcourt refineries, long dormant, are part of Nigeria's state-owned refineries, and the government is actively working to revive them to decrease the nation’s reliance on imported refined products.
In December, the NNPCL celebrated the successful completion of the Area 5 section of the Port-Harcourt refinery, including mechanical completion and flare start-up.
In March 2021, the federal government approved a $1.5 billion contract for the rehabilitation of the 210,000-barrel capacity Port-Harcourt refinery. The rehabilitation, handled by the Italian company Tecnimont SPA, is scheduled in three phases spanning 18, 24, and 44 months.
The CEO of the NNPCL has also stated that the second phase of repair works on the Port-Harcourt refinery will conclude by the fourth quarter of 2024.
As part of Nigeria's strategy to end fuel imports and control fuel prices, the country has sought to revitalize refineries, including the 650,000 bpd Dangote refinery and refineries in Kaduna and Warri, expected to resume operations before the end of 2024.
Since the removal of the fuel subsidy in June, petrol prices have surged by over 200%, resulting in increased transportation costs for the average Nigerian.