The NNPCL has commenced the supply of crude oil for the test-running of the Port Harcourt Refinery.
Oil marketers confirmed the development and stated that the plant would supply refined Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, Automotive Gas Oil, otherwise known as diesel, as well as other products to 12 states including Abia, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Delta, among others.
The NNPCL stated that the ongoing Port Harcourt Refinery test-run would be completed shortly, adding that commercial production of refined products would also begin shortly.
This came as experts and downstream operators stated that though the cost of refined products would reduce once the Port Harcourt and Dangote refineries start pumping out products, it would not lead to a massive price crash.
The President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, who led other marketers to the Port Harcourt refinery, confirmed on Sunday that the plant had started receiving crude oil.
He said testing was ongoing at the facility and noted that the 60,000bpd crude oil production was enough to serve about 12 states in Nigeria.
“I can confirm that they (the refinery) are now receiving crude because I have been in Port Harcourt and was at the refinery with some of our members. The testing is going on, and it is going to take some time because they would have to ascertain the parts of the refinery that are working and those that are not working yet.
“And all that must be stable, which is why the management of the refinery must be supported to ensure that they deliver and start the production of products for commercial purposes. However, I can confirm to you that what they (NNPCL) told you is correct,” Gillis-Harry stated.
“Nigerians should be cheerful about the 60,000 barrels per day of crude that is to be refined by the plant. Even if it is producing at 50 per cent capacity, it will produce what will consistently augment and make sure petroleum products are available for domestic consumption.
“And this will help curb the depletion of our foreign exchange. The volume of petrol and other products that will come out of 60,000bpd refined crude is not small, it is a lot. In fact, it can serve about 12 states. It is a considerable volume that can serve about 12 states.
“It can serve Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Imo, Delta, Edo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, and even beyond, and this is a conservative estimate. Also don’t forget that it is going to be produced daily. So if every day we are loading about 50 tankers of 33,000 litres each, that is going to serve a lot of purposes.”
The NNPCL, which is the manager of the refinery, had also revealed that the second phase of the facility would be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024 and would lead to the refining of 150,000bpd crude by the facility.