The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has constructed a 150 million litres storage facility for the Port Harcourt Refining Company ahead of full operations of the plants, the company stated on Wednesday.

It said the storage facility was constructed in Atlas Cove, adding that the company had signed Build, Operate and Transfer agreements for the rehabilitation of pipelines and storage facilities nationwide.

The Atlas Cove Jetty is a major installation of NNPCL for receipt and distribution of petroleum products to the western part of Nigeria and is located within the precincts of Tarkwa Bay in Lagos State.

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The national oil company further revealed in a documentary made available to our correspondent that its retail arm distributed about 14 billion litres of white products in 2023.

White products include Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol; Automotive Gas Oil or diesel; and Dual Purpose Kerosene, otherwise referred to as Kerosene.

The company further stated that an aviation arm had been created that would supply fuel to three international carriers, adding that more airlines would be served in due course.

Outlining its strides in the downstream sector in 2023, the company stated that “the directorate overseeing trading, shipping, refining and retail witnessed extraordinary achievements.”

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It added that from concluding crude oil swap arrangements to achieving mechanical completion of the Port Harcourt refinery, NNPC Ltd’s downstream sector marked 2023 with triumphs.

The firm said, “A major breakthrough unfolded with the mechanical completion of the Port Harcourt refinery. As operations gradually pick up, efforts are on the way to ensure that the new Port Port Harcourt refinery, Kaduna and Warri refineries follow suit.”

It stated that key infrastructures were being put in place ahead of full operations of the Port Harcourt refinery.

“Ahead of full operations, NNPC Ltd has put in place 150 million litres fully automated storage capacity at Atlas Cove. NNPC Ltd also inked Build, Operate and Transfer agreements for the rehabilitation of pipelines and storage facilities across Nigeria,” the company stated.

In the documentary, the Managing Director, Port Harcourt refinery, Ibrahim Onoja, said, “The rehabilitation is so structured. It is based on a very firm foundation that we knew from the beginning that it will deliver. We started this process by setting up a governance process to ensure that the rehabilitation is a success.”

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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 stated at the time that the first phase of the plant had been completed, as the facility would start refining 60,000 barrels of crude oil daily after the 2023 Christmas break.

The Port Harcourt Refinery, situated in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region, has been in operation since 1965. The Alesa Eleme refinery complex is situated in Rivers State, Nigeria, approximately 25km east of Port Harcourt.

The Federal Government approved a $1.5bn budget for the renovation and modernisation of the refinery complex in March 2021.

The NNPCL, early this month, stated that it had commenced the supply of crude oil to the Port Harcourt refinery to test-run it, as it also stated that it was seeking to engage reputable and credible operations and maintenance companies to operate and maintain the plant.

Meanwhile, in its documentary on Wednesday, the NNPCL stated that its downstream retail arm distributed 14 billion litres of fuel last year, adding that the company was making inroads into the supply of aviation fuel.

“Powering its way through, NNPC Ltd’s Retail arm, with the largest network in Nigeria, distributed over 14 billion litres of white products in 2023. Its 900 retail outlets played a pivotal role in achieving this feat,” the oil company stated.

On JetA1 or aviation fuel supply, the firm said, “To expand its operations, NNPC Retail has rebranded its aviation services. With the birth of NNPC Aviation, the company will be supplying fuel to various airlines, including British Airways, Qatar and Air Morocco, with more partnerships in the horrison.”

NNPCL is currently the sole importer of refined petroleum products into Nigeria. The Port Harcourt refinery and Dangote refinery are expected to start releasing refined products into the market soon.