Nigeria looks to restart four of its oil refineries by the end of 2024, the country’s newly appointed minister of state for petroleum, Heineken Lokpobiri told Reuters, as the southern Port Harcourt plant prepares to begin operations by the end of this year.

The government announced last year, that the Port Harcourt refinery will begin processing crude oil by the end of the 2022, but it was postponed after several unsuccessful attempts at restart and revamp.

Lokpobiri, who was appointed on 21 August, had inspected the ongoing refurbishment at the two-unit 210,000 Port Harcourt refinery, last week.

The four refineries, which are in dilapidated condition, include the Kaduna plant in the north and three units in the Niger delta including the 125,000 barrels Warri refinery.

They have not been operating for some years now and have a combined capacity to process around 4.45 million barrels per day.

The refinery at Port Harcourt, is undergoing a $1.5bn upgrade after Tecnimont from Italy secured the contract for revamp in 2021. This upgrade is expected to take up to 44 months to complete.

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By GlobalData

Lokpobiri said: “From what we have seen here today, Port Harcourt refinery will come on board by the end of the year.”

Furthermore, he noted that two other facilities located in Warri and Kaduna are slated to commence crude processing sometime between the first quarter and the culmination of 2024.

He emphasised that the aim is to reduce and eventually stop the country’s dependency on fuel imports.

The ambition is supported by the fact that Nigeria is one of the oil-producing nations in the continent and is currently importing most of its refined fuel because of limited production capacity.