NNPC, African Refinery Port Harcourt strike deal to boost Nigeria’s refining capacity in historic move

Representatives of both the NNPC and African Refinery Port Harcourt during the agreement signing ceremony in Abuja, on Thursday, April 24, 2024. Photos: NNPC

By Emmanuel Babafemi

In a significant move aimed at bolstering Nigeria’s refining capacity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) Ltd has sealed an agreement with African Refinery Port Harcourt (ARPHL) for the subscription of a 15% equity stake in Nigeria’s second largest private Refinery after Dangote Refinery.

The agreement, signed by Mr. Omotayo Adebajo, Managing Director of African Refinery Port Harcourt Limited (ARPHL), and Mr. Adedapo Segun, Executive Vice-President of NNPC Ltd for Downstream, signifies a crucial step forward in enhancing the nation’s refining capabilities.

The signing ceremony took place at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Thursday, April 24, 2024.

Following the signing, Adedapo Segun, NNPC’s Executive Vice-President for Downstream, emphasised the collaborative efforts between NNPC and African Refinery, stating, “African Refinery is one of the partners we have been working with to co-locate in our various refinery assets and they are our partners for the Port Harcourt Refinery.”

He further elaborated on the expansion plans, stating that the proposed 100kbpd refinery will be co-located with the existing refineries in the PHRC complex, aiming to increase Port Harcourt’s refining capacity from 210kbpd to 310kbpd.


Tola Ayo-Adeyemi, Group Executive Director Legal and Regulatory Compliance at African Refinery Group (ARG), hailed the collaboration as a significant milestone, affirming NNPC Ltd’s full commitment to the ARPHL refinery project to be situated within the Port Harcourt Refinery complex in Eleme, Rivers State.

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Ayo-Adeyemi highlighted the project’s importance, noting that it stands as the largest private refinery in Nigeria’s South-South and South-East geo-political regions.

He also disclosed that since signing a Project Framework in 2017, NNPC Ltd and ARPHL have made substantial progress, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled later in the year.

The project’s estimated timeline aims for construction commencement in 2025 and commercial operations by 2027.

The project, anticipated to cost over US$2 billion, will be developed in phases, with the refinery expected to produce over 30 million litres of various petroleum products daily upon completion, including petrol, diesel, jet fuel, LPG, and LPFO.

The agreement signed marks a significant milestone in the cooperation between NNPC Ltd and ARPHL, representing the penultimate stage in the documentation of their collaboration.

It underscores NNPC’s commitment to revitalizing Nigeria’s refining sector and reducing the nation’s reliance on imported petroleum products.