Port Harcourt Oil Refinery to be Privatized for Operational Efficiency

Taiwo Ajayi
3 Min Read
Port Harcourt Oil Refinery

In a groundbreaking move, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has unveiled plans to transfer the Port Harcourt Refining Company into the hands of private operators.

This strategic decision aims to enhance the refinery’s operational reliability and sustainability while fulfilling the nation’s fuel supply and energy security commitments.

As reported in a statement on the NNPCL’s website, the company is actively seeking partnerships with reputable and credible operations and maintenance firms to take charge of the Port Harcourt Refinery. The contractual scope will encompass critical refinery processes, including long-term and short-term production/operations planning, execution of production and operations, monitoring, reporting, optimization of operations, maintenance execution, health and safety protocols, environmental management, and oversight of minor projects.

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To be considered for the engagement, interested companies must demonstrate a robust financial standing, with a minimum average annual turnover of at least $2 billion USD for the fiscal years ending in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

This significant development follows the completion of the rehabilitation work on the Area-5 Plant of the Port Harcourt Refining Company, as announced by the Federal Government on December 21, 2023. The successful mechanical completion marked the conclusion of the first phase of the plant’s renovation, poised to refine 60,000 barrels of crude oil daily post the Christmas break.

Having been operational since 1965, the Port Harcourt Refinery, situated in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region, holds historical significance. The Alesa Eleme refinery complex, located approximately 25 kilometers east of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria, has played a pivotal role in the country’s oil industry.

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In March 2021, the Nigerian government allocated GBP 1.08 billion ($1.5 billion) for the extensive renovation and modernization of the refinery complex. With the successful test-run of crude oil supply initiated by the NNPCL, the privatization move is expected to usher in a new era of efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the Port Harcourt Oil Refinery.

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