Mkpoikana Udoma 30 December 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt -As part of efforts to ease the current shortage of petroleum products in the country, the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC, will resume production this week.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this during an inspection visit to the Port Hacourt Refinery in Alesa-Eleme, Rivers State, saying the plant would be producing about 5.5 million litres daily of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol.
Kachikwu said from the briefing he got from the inspection of the refineries, they are close to starting production.
“From the impression I have gotten today, they are close to re-opening, they are very close to producing and we expect that within the next one week, we expect products to be out from here.” he disclosed at the weekend.
The Minister explained that the rehabilitation of the refinery was being done with intensive manual labour of the staff, occasioned by insufficiency of funds which have affected the holistic rehabilitation that is required in the refinery.
According to him, “They (staff) have been working very hard and I am here to see how far they have gone; I want to encourage them to speed up the process and ensure that within the matters of days or a week we will be able to bring back confidence to Nigerians and ease off the pressure that we are facing in terms of distribution.
“The refinery is now ageing so one fault comes up after the other even after repair but that would stop when government repairs the plant holistically by the first quarter of next year”.
Apart from petrol, other products to come from the refinery, according to Kachikwu, are automotive gas oil, AGO, also known as diesel as well as dual purpose kerosene.
“Where we love to be is to have half of the consumption of this country at the refineries at the minimum, which is about 20 million litres. But where we are, with the sleepless night I have had in the last few weeks, any molecule is significant.
“Kaduna refinery will still be doing 2.3 million litres per day, and that is doing 60 percent performance; I will like to see them getting closer to 80 or 90 percent. By the time they do that, we will be getting 11 to 12 million litres out of this place.”