NNPCL to complete Warri refinery Q1

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has announced that the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company’s mechanical completion is anticipated to be finalized in the first quarter of this year.

Established in 1978, the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) located in Warri, Delta State, is one of Nigeria’s three refineries managed by NNPCL.

The other two are the Port Harcourt Refining Company in Rivers State and the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company in Kaduna State, both undergoing rehabilitation.

As a complex conversion refinery, the Warri facility has the capacity to process 125,000 barrels of crude oil per day. It also features a petrochemical plant established in 1988, producing polypropylene and carbon black.

Despite supplying petroleum products to southern and south-western Nigeria, the refinery is currently not producing refined products due to ongoing rehabilitation by the Federal Government.

Responding to an inquiry about the expected completion of the mechanical work at the plant, NNPCL’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Olufemi Soneye, briefly stated that the target was to achieve this in the first quarter of the year.

“Warri should be done by Q1 (first quarter) 2024,” he stated.

On Wednesday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, reiterated that efforts were ongoing at the Warri Refinery.

He provided this update in response to a question regarding the Port Harcourt refinery, whose mechanical completion had been officially acknowledged by the Federal Government on December 21, 2023.

Lokpobiri clarified that the rehabilitation work at the plants was extensive but expressed confidence that the facilities would soon become operational.

“These were projects that are very fundamental to our survival economically, and I believe that very soon products will start coming from there. But there are several components in these gigantic structures that will take time mechanically to finalise for products to start coming.

“Recall that the Dangote refinery was commissioned by the Buhari administration but they haven’t started releasing products because it takes time. So I believe that the Port Harcourt refinery will soon come and the Warri refinery is in top gear,” the minister had stated.

Soneye had also told our correspondent earlier that the Port Harcourt refinery was undergoing finishing touches, as the government was working hard to get the plant running.

“We’ve successfully completed the mechanical phase of the PH (Port Harcourt) refinery Area-5 plant, installing all vital components. Licensor inspection has been done, and catalysts delivered.

“Now, industry-based testing remains, focusing on leaks, air, line blowing, flushing, drying, steam out, calibration, plant inerting, and then hydrocarbon introduction.

“While we share the optimism, adherence to global best practices is crucial. Testing will conclude shortly, ensuring the refinery’s efficient operation. Production should commence shortly,” the NNPCL spokesperson had stated.

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

It was announced that the first phase of the plant had been concluded, with plans for the facility to commence refining 60,000 barrels of crude oil following the Christmas break. However, this anticipated development has not materialized as of now.