The Federal Government has granted approval of $1.5 billion required for the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Port Harcourt refinery.
Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, confirmed the monetary approval while addressing newsmen following the conclusion of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided by Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources presented a memo on the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery for the sum of $1.5 billion and that memo was approved by the Federal Executive Council,” the minister said.
Sylva noted that the rehabilitation, set to commence immediately would be handled in three stages and conducted by Technimont S.P.A, an Italian firm he described as experts in refinery maintenance.
The first phase according to the minister, would be completed in 18 months which would take the refinery to a 90 per cent stage of its nameplate capacity. The second phase, he said, would be completed in 24 months, while the final phase, including approval of consultations, would be fully completed within 44 months.
Sylva explained that the funding of the repairs will be sourced from many components including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Afreximbank and budgetary provisions.
He also pledged that the other three refineries located in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri would equally be rehabilitated before the end of the Buhari-led administration.
Nigeria has a total of four government-owned refineries with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (bpd). Unfortunately, none of the refineries is functional, resulting in the country’s importation of virtually all its refined petroleum products, a situation the current government has pledged to address before the conclusion of its administration.