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Oil marketers anticipate Port Harcourt Refinery restart amid projections of lower petrol prices

Oil Marketers Anticipate Port Harcourt Refinery Restart Amid Projections of Lower Petrol Prices

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Oil marketers in Nigeria are on the brink of resuming operations at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), with workers striving to prepare the facility for production under directives from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC). The imminent restart has sparked anticipation among dealers, who foresee a potential drop in petrol prices, even projecting rates as low as N500 per litre.

Confidence in price reductions stems not only from the expected output of the PHRC but also from the looming presence of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery, slated to commence petrol supply to the market in May. Dealers expressed optimism that Dangote’s entry into the market would drive prices below the N500 threshold, leveraging its capacity to supply diesel to dealers.

Operators, affiliated with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), confirmed progress at the PHRC, noting the near-completion of the plant and the impending start of refined petroleum product releases. This sentiment was echoed by IPMAN’s National Public Relations Officer, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, who underscored the industry’s eagerness for a price reduction.

While specific pricing details from the PHRC are yet to be disclosed, Ukadike indicated expectations of a cost below the current NNPC rate of N567.7 per litre. The NNPC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, previously announced mechanical completion at the Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna refineries, with the PHRC set to commence operations within weeks.

As preparations intensify, dealers are strategizing to procure products in bulk, taking cues from Dangote’s sales model and liaising with financial institutions for funding. Tekena Ikpaki, IPMAN’s Port Harcourt Branch Chairman, affirmed assurances from refinery management and highlighted the readiness of operators in Rivers State to receive products.

Amidst the anticipation, industry stakeholders emphasize the significance of the PHRC’s restart in addressing Nigeria’s fuel supply challenges. With expectations high and preparations underway, the resumption of operations at the PHRC holds promise for both oil marketers and consumers alike.

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