The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced its intention to hand over the operation and maintenance of the Port Harcourt Refining Company to private entities.
This strategic move aims to boost the refinery’s reliability and contribute to Nigeria’s fuel supply and energy security.
The NNPCL, in a statement published on its website on Monday, detailed its search for reputable and credible operations and maintenance companies to take over the refinery’s management.
The selected company will be responsible for various aspects of refinery business processes, including production and operations planning, execution, health and safety management, environmental management, and overseeing minor projects.
Prospective companies interested in this opportunity are required to demonstrate a significant financial capability, with a minimum average annual turnover of at least $2 billion USD for the financial years ending 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.
This requirement is set to ensure that the chosen operator has the necessary financial stability and resources to manage the refinery effectively.
Recently, the NNPCL commenced the supply of crude oil to the Port Harcourt refinery as part of a test-run, signaling a revival of the facility’s operations.
On December 21, 2023, the Federal Government announced the mechanical completion of rehabilitation work on the Area-5 Plant of the refinery, located in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
The first phase of the plant’s renovation has been completed, allowing it to refine 60,000 barrels of crude oil daily after the Christmas break.
The decision to involve private operators in the management of the Port Harcourt Refinery, operational since 1965, aligns with the Nigerian government’s broader strategy to modernize and enhance efficiency in the nation’s oil sector.
In March 2021, the government approved a significant budget for the renovation and modernization of the refinery complex, marking a substantial investment in the nation’s energy infrastructure.
The move to privatize the refinery’s operations is expected to improve management, increase production capacity, and reduce reliance on imported refined petroleum products.
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