By Joseph Oso

Ahead of the full implementation of its refinery project in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, African Refineries Port Harcourt Limited (ARPHL), has awarded the Phase 1 contract for the collocation of its Greenfield Refinery to Messrs Maire TechnimontSpA.

The contractor is a leading global Oil & Gas Refining, Chemical & Petrochemical, Fertilizers and Power Engineering, Procurement and Construction company.

The refinery, it was gathered, has the capacity to refine 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), crude oil into Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Jet A-1, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), and Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO).

The award follows the conclusion of negotiations with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) to acquire a 10 per cent equity stake in ARPHL’s 100,000 bpd refinery at the same location.

However, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ARPHL, Mr. Omotayo Adebajo, confirmed in a statement obtained by Energy Vanguard that the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Contract is the first step towards implementing a plant for the processing up to 100,000 bpd of crude oil and 10,000 bpd of aviation fuel at the existing Port Harcourt Refinery Battery Limit.

The CEO, who disclosed that the refinery would be operational in 2025, stated that this is in line with the Federal Government’s strategic plan.

He stated: “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2016 advertised a request for proposal in all major newspapers, seeking bids for private investors to invest in the collocating of crude oil refineries within its existing refinery sites in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri, toward increasing Nigeria’s national refining capacity from 445,000 BPD to 695,000 bpd in the shortest possible time frame.

“By a transparent bid process conducted by NNPC in line with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) guidelines, ARPHL emerged the collocation partner to run and operate a 100,000 bpd refinery on 45 hectares of vacant land within the battery limit of the Port Harcourt Refinery Complex (PHRC) in Alesa-Eleme, Rivers State.”

“In response to the new business reality post COVID-19, ARPHL and NNPC reviewed the original plan to relocate a brownfield crude oil refinery and will now construct a 100,000 bpd Greenfield refinery to be installed adjacent to the existing 150,000 bpd Port Harcourt Refinery Complex. The project is scheduled to be completed within three years.

“This project is an integral part of NNPC’s plan to upgrade the network of its mid-stream and downstream assets in South-South and South-East Nigeria, which includes the refurbishment of the Port Harcourt Refineries and the various crude oil/petroleum pipelines, NNPC tank farms and oil depots. This is a project that would employ at least 15,000 Nigerians during construction and another 2,000-post construction, aligning with the local content regulations beneficial to the Nigerian people and the Nigerian economy in general.”

Speaking further, the CEO said: “Under the terms of the agreement with NNPC, ARPHL will be solely responsible for private sector-led efficient and sustainable management, operations and maintenance of the refinery upon completion. 

This marks another major step towards fulfilling NNPC’s promise and commitment to support and boost domestic refining capacity required for Nigeria to become a net exporter of petroleum products.”

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