Work to commence on Port Harcourt refinery by Q1 2021 ― Kyari

• Assures Nigerians of zero queues during yuletide

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari at the weekend, disclosed that rehabilitation works would commence on the Port Harcourt refinery by 2021 first quarter.

This was even as he assured Nigerians of zero queues during and after Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Kyari who made the disclosure at a media parley with Energy Correspondents in Abuja said NNPC’s vision of revamping the pipelines is in tandem with the Refineries Rehabilitation Project which it promised to deliver by 2023.

He stated that the funding challenge which had stalled the second phase of the rehabilitation has been resolved adding that contract for the second phase will be awarded soon.

“We are in the process of strengthening the products distribution system by revamping our pipeline network through a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model whose process is already at an advanced stage.

“The vision of revamping the pipelines is in tandem with the Refineries Rehabilitation Project which we have promised to deliver by 2023. I am happy to announce that the funding challenge which had stalled the second phase of the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery has been resolved. The contract for the second phase will soon be awarded and work will commence in Q1 of 2021,” he said.

In view of this, he said the corporation is supporting private sector investors who are driving refinery projects across the country to promote local refining.

According to him, this is with a view to attaining self-sufficiency in refining and transforming Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products.

Also, he noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent OPEC-Plus agreement to cut production has impacted its plans towards production growth.

As a result, the GMD stressed that the corporation is taking advantage of the energy transition by investing in gas so as to prepare Nigeria for the future in the face of the dwindling fortunes of petroleum liquids.

Similarly, the GMD warned that with the new lockdown orders due to resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe and other industrial nations, the estimated revenue shrinkage may likely grow above Rystad Energy estimates by the close of 2020.

“This financial impact and the resultant poor liquidity position is making funding of both existing and new projects more difficult as companies cut spending and defer projects.

“As a national oil company, our natural response to situations like this is not to shut down operations owing to the linear relationship between the oil industry and our nation’s economy. What therefore first comes to mind is how to survive and sustain our operations,” he said.

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