An energy consultant and former president of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, John Erinne, has zeroed in on the possibility of the recently celebrated Port Harcourt Refinery producing regular products soon.
According to him, the refinery may be unable to resume regular operation immediately after Christmas.
Naija News recalls that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, had previously announced that the refinery’s rehabilitation had been completed and that it would recommence petroleum product production after Christmas.
Additionally, he stated that Phase One of the refinery had achieved mechanical completion and flare startup on December 20.
However, Erinne, while speaking on the Channels Television programme on Friday (today), explained that commissioning is a complex and time-consuming process.
He emphasized that thorough testing and verification of each piece of equipment, ensuring its functionality as intended, could potentially take up to three months.
He said, “Commissioning means that you have completed the facility, and now you want to take it through the process of being able to perform the tasks you have designed and constructed it for.
“So you have to go through a gradual process of tasting, verifying, checking, ensuring every piece of equipment, every item that is installed is doing what is expected to do and that ultimately what you are going to get at the end of the process is what it is expected to be.
“Commissioning again broadly can be in two phases. You have pre-commissioning checks and the final commissioning, and a process like that could take a couple of months. It is not likely to take days, it could take a month, two months, or perhaps up to three months.
“From the government announcement, I can say that the refinery is ready for commissioning, not necessarily ready to start regular operations.
I can say for certain that we can not expect to see regular products from the Port Harcourt refinery until sometime in the first quarter of next year; that would be correct.”