The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has commenced the supply of crude oil for the test-running of the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited.

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Oil marketers confirmed the development and stated that the plant would supply refined Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, Automotive Gas Oil, otherwise known as diesel, as well as other products to 12 states including Abia, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Delta etc.

The NNPCL stated that the ongoing test-running of the plant would be completed shortly, adding that commercial production of refined products would thereafter commence.

This came as experts and downstream operators stated that though the cost of refined products would reduce once the Port Harcourt and Dangote refineries start pumping out products, it would not lead to a massive price crash.

On December 21, 2023, the Federal Government announced the mechanical completion of rehabilitation work on the Area-5 Plant of the Port Harcourt Refining Company in Rivers State.

It said the first phase of the plant had been completed, as the facility would start refining 60,000 barrels of crude oil daily after the Christmas break.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, had stated that the first phase of the PHRC was completed on December 20, 2023, adding that refined products’ production would commence after the Yuletide.

“This is to announce to Nigerians that in fulfilment of our pledge to complete phase one of the Port Harcourt refinery by the end of 2023, and the subsequent streaming of phase two in 2024, we happily announce the mechanical completion of flare start-up on December 20, 2023.

“This heralds the commencement of the production of petroleum products after the Christmas break. We want to thank Nigerians for their patience and trust in the NNPC to deliver on our promise and mandate in the rehabilitation of our refineries,” the minister stated.