A new privately-owned 100,000barrel per day(bpd) refinery in Port Harcourt, existing within the premises of the existing Port Harcourt Refinery (PHR) in Alesa Elem , Rivers State, is due to be commissioned in October, 2023.
This was contained in a delivery time-line seen by EnergyDay via the official website of the African Refinery Port-Harcourt Limited, owner of the refinery.
Mr. Omotayo Adebajo, Chief Executive of the company, in a statement obtained by EnergyDay, confirming the timeline, explained the progress of work accomplished so far and the major landmarks to be executed as the refinery complex progresses to completion.
The CEO said the project was first mooted about six years ago in response to dwindling refining capacity by state-owned refineries, but had to go through pre-selection hurdles in a competitive process to determine a suitable operator.
He said, “ We are making steady progress to commence operations on schedule with Final Investment Decisions (FID) slated for October 2022. The facility at completion is expected to process 100,000bpd of crude oil into essential fuels, particularly, Premium Motor Spirit, Low Pour Fuel Oil, LPG and AGO.
He also confirmed that the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor handling the Front End Engineering Design (FEED), Messrs Tecnimont, an affiliate of Maire Tecnimont Group, has completed the second phase of its assignment and is expected to conclude the third and final segment of its work programme before the end of the year.
Messrs Tecnimont in a statement obtained by EnergyDay said, “We are happy to announce that we have been awarded a FEED contract by African Refineries Port Harcourt Limited for a 100,000 barrels per day refining plant in Nigeria. The new plant will be built inside the existing Port Harcourt Refinery.”
Recall that in April, 2021, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) signed a $1.5 billion contract with Italy’s Maire Tecnimont for the rehabilitation of the 210,000 barrels-per-day Port Harcourt Refinery, in three phases of 18, 24 and 44 months.
EnergyDay however gathered that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) in line with the Bureau of Public Enterprise(BPE) guidelines, gave ARPHL the collocation permission to run and operate the refinery on 45 hectares within the battery limit of the PHRC.
The facility is installed adjacent to the Government-owned refinery, with NNPC acquiring a 10 percent equity stake in the greenfield refinery.
Tecnimont, was given 30 weeks by African Refinery Port-Harcourt Limited, to complete the final phase of its assignment, which began in April 2022.
The 100,000bpd greenfield private refinery is co-located within the Warri Refinery complex, owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
Based on compliance with the timeline, EnergyDay gathered that the front-end engineering works’ first and second phases were completed in October 2021 and March 2022, respectively. The Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract is the first step preceding the implementation of plant construction.
The company said in its statement that it envisages processing up to 100,000 barrels per day of crude oil and, for the first time in Nigeria, “contribute to the world decarbonisation targets, by implanting, in parallel, a prototype plant utilising green technologies for the production of sustainable aviation fuel or Biojet from waste”.
Agricultural waste, animal fats, and used cooking oil are gaining traction globally as substitute feedstocks in the effort to minimise carbon footprints. The plant will be developed at the existing Port Harcourt Refinery Limited.
The emergence of the African Refinery Port-Harcourt Limited marks the first time that a co-location of facilities by independent business entities will be accomplished, with the NNPC picking up a 10% equity interest in the new private firm.
The company has not disclosed the full list of equity holders but said that it will be meeting with all its financial partners and stakeholders during the month of August 2022.
It also expected to commence a re-engagement dialogue with host communities during the month of August 2022 as a follow-up to a previous parley held in January 2022.
“The overall benefit for the local community will come,” the company said, by sustaining the long-term viability of the African Refinery as a major employer in Rivers State and Nigeria.
The management of the firm has restated commitment to employ over 1,500 full-time employees and approximately 900 contract employees, apart from buying services from over 600 Nigerian companies.
Nigeria is presently assailed by rising fuel costs and imminent scarcity as a result of the fact that 90% of the country’s refining facilities are either undergoing Turn Around Maintenance, Moribund or perpetually on the drawing board awaiting firm directions.
The African Refinery, on completion, will contribute significantly to the country’s petroleum products requirement.
Nigeria currently consumes 15.1 million tonnes of petroleum products per year, with this figure expected to rise to 17.3 million tonnes by 2025.
According to NNPC’s data, the Aliko Dangote refinery is expected to contribute approximately 60% of its 650,000bpd output to the country’s domestic fuel needs, while the Port Harcourt refinery will contribute the remaining 215,000bpd.