Port Harcourt refinery overhaul to begin soon — Report

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is now on track to undertake the complete overhaul of Nigeria’s biggest refinery billed to commence in the first quarter of 2021.

S&P Global Platts, which provides benchmark prices for commodity markets around the world, reported this on Wednesday, quoting industry sources.

The report said that NNPC has concluded talks with lenders to raise $1 billion for the rehabilitation of the refinery located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The Port Harcourt refinery was shut in March 2019 for the first phase of the repair works after it secured the service of Italy’s Maire Tecnimont to handle the scoping of the refinery complex, with oil major Eni appointed as a technical adviser.

In December 2020, NNPC announced that it received seven bids submitted by local and international companies for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract awards for the repairs.

The S&P Global Platts report quoted sources as saying that the successful negotiations of the funding arrangement, led by African Export-Import, or Afreximbank, has paved way for the NNPC to move to the commercial stage of pre-qualifying bids submitted by local and international companies for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract award for the rehabilitation of 210,000 barrel per day Port Harcourt refinery.

It said the work at Port Harcourt will be followed by repairs at the Warri and Kaduna plants.

The rehabilitation programme is estimated to take around 18 to 24 months.

Previous attempts to revamp the refineries have been scuttled after the NNPC failed to secure the necessary funding, estimated at over $1.2 billion.

The report said that Nigeria’s refineries, which include the northern 110,000 barrel per day Kaduna refinery and the 125,000 barrel per day Warri refinery have also been shut down for repairs since early 2019.

The refineries have operated sporadically due to years of neglect, forcing Africa’s largest crude producer to rely on imports to meet its domestic fuel needs.

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