Fuel Scarcity: Port Harcourt Refinery To Resume Production This Week

Port-Harcourt-refineryAmid lingering fuel scarcity across the country, the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Limited will this week activate all its process in a bid to ameliorate the problem.

This development was sequel to the successful completion of repair work at the PHRC crude distillation unit, where one of the columns collapsed last month and forced a shutdown of the 210, 000 barrels per day refinery.

It would be recalled that the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had recently given indication that any refinery that does not produce at above 65 per cent by end of 2015, would be shut down.

According to Daily Trust findings, the restoration of the plant would normally have required urgent intervention from foreign experts and huge replacement costs but the challenging task was undertaken locally.

For instance, it was gathered that parts that would have been imported are estimated at N640 million while delivery and mobilization of contractors to site would have taken several months, but following the urgent need to return to operations in the face of the prevailing fuel crisis in the country, the PHRC management took the challenge directly by repairing defective parts by utilizing over 150 host community youths in the process.

“During the period, the entire workforce was mobilized and involved in the process while inspectors from sister Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) and Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) respectively were invited for support.

“Key personnel were relocated to the company’s proximate Lifecamp while all vacations were called off to bring all hands on deck as work progressed day and night all week.

“When hit with cash flow constraints, workers of the refinery, including security guards, drivers, contract and support staff, responded to call for personal contributions to avert an impending downtime, and N5.5 million was raised to procure critical materials without waiting for fund release from government”, sources said

The speedy repairs of the refinery, Mr. Kachikwu was quoted during a town hall meeting at the weekend as saying, it was as a result of the commitment of the management and staff of the refinery.

He also saluted the team spirit that was displayed during the delivery of the job when key technical crew heads at sister refineries rushed to offer assistance to ensure a total indigenous content and demonstrate a formidable in-house capacity for the job.